Coming soon: tea at the Great British Bake Off bakery and lunch at the Hairy Bikers restaurant


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The Independent Culture

It looks like we could soon be staying at the Fawlty Towers hotel, eating lunch at the Hairy Bikers restaurant and buying tea and scones from the Great British Bake Off bakery.

This could be the case when the BBC Television Centre at White City gets turned into a £1 billion themed “village” celebrating the programmes that were made there.

Among the ideas so far are attractions based on Fawlty Towers, Monty Python, Flying Circus, Blue Peter, Doctor Who and Strictly Come Dancing, which were all filmed at the complex.

A Great British Bake Off bakery is among the ideas that have been suggested so far, which could have global appeal after it emerged that the show has been exported to twelve countries worldwide.

Developers plan to draw on the history of Grade II listed Broadcasting House and the surrounding 14-acre White City plot in West London to create an interactive “visitor experience” using the BBC’s huge catalogue of archive material.

The 53-year-old complex will also become home to thousands of residents and dozens of businesses from the creative industries. The building’s inner ring, known to employees as “the doughnut”, will become a 50-room boutique hotel and apartments.

The forecourt in front of the inner ring, which, at over an acre is the size of Leicester Square, will be lined by cafés and restaurants, an arts cinema and the entrance to the BBC visitor experience.

BBC Studios 1, 2 and 3 will continue to film Strictly Come Dancing and Mock the Week after the development is complete, but the majority of output will run from the newly renovated Broadcasting House in Portland Place near to Oxford Circus.

The sprawling White City site was sold to developers Stanhope and its partners — Japanese property giant Mitsui Fudosan and Canadian fund manager Alberta Investment Management Corporation — for £200 million last July.

David Camp, chief executive of Stanhope, said: “We will be introducing a vibrant and exciting mix of new retail, leisure, office and residential uses while keeping and enhancing the original BBC buildings and retaining key operational BBC studio and office facilities on site.”