The Great British Bake Off’s spin-off show presenter Jo Brand has supported Mary Berry’s decision to stay at the BBC – and joked that fans will have to swap cakes for sausage rolls when it airs on Channel 4.
Judge Mary and presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins have opted not to follow the dough and stay put at the BBC out of loyalty, with only Paul Hollywood moving to the rival channel after he declared the tent is “where I belong”.
Comedian Jo, 59, said she has no idea whether Channel 4 will broadcast a spin-off show similar to BBC Two’s An Extra Slice, after it controversially poached Bake Off from the corporation.
Asked whether the much-loved show is “falling apart”, with it only retaining judge Paul from the original four, Jo suggested viewers could find another means of getting their baking fix.
“They’ll just have to go to the shop and buy something won’t they,” she joked on ITV show Lorraine. “Buy a sausage roll.”
Speaking of 81-year-old Mary’s decision to say “farewell to soggy bottoms”, Jo added: “I don’t blame Mary. She probably wants to put her feet up. I’m 20 years younger and I’d quite like to put my feet up… She’s amazing.
“I’d like to think she will come round my house and bake exclusively for me.”
She said of the prospect of her spin-off show moving to Channel 4: “I’ve no idea. I honestly can say no-one’s said anything to me. I don’t know anything.”
Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror reports that Mary, Mel and Sue could join forces to launch a rival baking show on BBC1, with former Saturday Kitchen host James Martin possibly replacing Paul.
An insider was quoted as saying: “The chances of us reuniting Mary, Mel and Sue are very high.”
Former Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain has tweeted her support for both Mary and Paul.
Wow busy day! Just catching up with everything. Love Mary and Paul and I'm sure they've each made the right decision for them.— Nadiya Jamir Hussain (@BegumNadiya) September 22, 2016
Paul, who has come under fire from fans of the show for moving to Channel 4, decided to stay with the Bake Off despite being approached by the BBC about Top Gear.
A TV source said: “He was offered a significant role on Top Gear. It was serious money. The word is he would only get it if he signed up exclusively to the BBC.”
Hollywood will get a pay rise for his switch to C4, with the suggestion he could earn £300,000 a series – making the deal worth around £1 million over three years, plus more for added endorsements.
Richard McKerrow, creative director at Bake Off makers Love Productions, attempted to reassure fans the show will not change substantially, despite the loss of its hosts and one of its judges.
The BBC is believed to have offered Love Productions £15 million a year to keep the programme, but that is reported to have fallen £10 million short.