The Great British Bake Off’s Richard Burr, the baking builder who reached the finals of the show, has slammed the decision to move to Channel 4.
Richard, best remembered for wearing a pencil behind his ear and being trounced by Nancy Birtwhistle as winner of the 2014 series despite being favourite, said that he was worried that the show would become “cool” and “edgy”.
He told Vanessa Feltz on BBC Radio London: “I feel really sad about it to be honest.
“The Bake Off is quintessentially BBC. I know it’s made by another company, Love Productions, but the BBC has made it exactly what it is today.
“It’s such a shame that we’ve lost it. Terrible,” he said. “It’s the most popular thing on TV.”
The show, which has been judged by Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood and features presenters Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, will air on Channel 4 next year.
Richard said of its new home on Channel 4: “There are lots of things that can go wrong. The idea of having adverts between every single bake just doesn’t sit right with me at all.”
He added: “It just feels like the brand is being hawked off right at its peak. It feels like the quality will definitely go down now. I think it was perfectly placed the way it was.
“I would struggle to think what Channel 4 could bring to it.”
He added: “It’s stately and British and beautiful. It’s not meant to be cool and if it goes over to Channel 4 I’m worried that it will suddenly become cool. The thought of it being edgy. I just don’t think it needs that to be honest.”
His comments come after thousands of people signed a petition for Love Productions to renegotiate the deal.
More than 3,000 people signed the online petition called “Keep The Great British Bake Off on the BBC. Renegotiate the deal for Great British Bake Off to be on an alternative channel – this should not be about the best financial deal.”
It states: “We want this programme to remain on fee-based public service. A full hour not 45 mins with 15 mins of adverts.”