The Great British Bake Off: Channel 4 bosses insist they 'saved' the show

'We’ve been able to pick it up and maintain it on free-to-air'

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The Independent Culture

Having spent a rumoured £25 million on a tent and Paul Hollywood, Channel 4 remain confident their acquisition of The Great British Bake Off will be a positive move for both the show and the channel. 

Speaking to The Times, the broadcaster’s Chief Creative Officer, Jay Hunt, insisted everything was going well, claiming Channel 4 had “saved” the show after Love Productions and the BBC fell out. 

“This was the worst kept secret in British TV history,” she told the publication. “Relations were very strained between Love and the BBC and as a result of that, a lot of people, several non-free-to-air platforms, had also expressed interest in it.

“So we’ve been able to pick it up and maintain it on free-to-air and ensure that viewers can see it for years ahead. It’s a good outcome. I think we all move on now.

“Do I, in the end, think it’s a good fit with Channel 4, that audiences will come and find it here? Yes, without a shadow of a doubt.”

She added that it’s the show’s format that has won over millions of viewers, not necessarily the judges/presenters.

 “I think in the end format is incredibly important, and this is a highly successful format. The case that was put to the board was that in the event that [Love Production’s] relations with the BBC broke down and that it came to market, there might be an opportunity for Channel 4. And that was with no talent attached.”

Many fans of the incredibly popular talent show have questioned who will replace Mary Berry, Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, rumours currently swelling around two names in particular; Jo Brand and Nadiya Hussain, both of who have recently spoken about possibly moving to Channel 4.

Meanwhile, reports have claimed the BBC are planning a ‘rival’ Bake Off show with Mel, Sue, and Mary, one publication claiming the show may reach TV screens before Channel 4’s iteration.