Lord Sugar predicts dip in ratings when Bake Off switches to Channel 4

Lord Alan Sugar believes The Great British Bake Off will be “a total disaster” following its move from the BBC to Channel 4.

The Apprentice star said he feels for the corporation after the baking show’s production company Love Productions controversially sold the rights, and suggested ratings could drop.

He told Radio Times: “I think it’s going to be a total disaster.

“I think they (the BBC) are getting a raw deal these days.

“I mean, because they make something successful like Bake Off or The Voice, then suddenly a commercial channel comes along and just goes and buys it off them, and greedy production companies sell it to them.

“I don’t find that morally correct.”

The BBC is believed to have offered Love Productions £15 million a year to keep Bake Off, but that is reported to have fallen £10 million short.

Lord Sugar said of Love Productions: “Think about their personal credibility as the production company, if this thing bombs on Channel 4.

“I mean, the difference between 15 million viewers, right, which Bake Off got, to possibly settling down to about three million on Channel 4, surely that’s got to mean something to them, hasn’t it?

“It’s not always the money, you know.”

Bake Off judge Mary Berry and presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins have opted not to follow the dough and will stay at the BBC out of loyalty, with only judge Paul Hollywood moving to the rival channel after he declared the tent is “where I belong”.

Lord Sugar said he would not follow The Apprentice in a similar move as his loyalty is with the corporation.

He said: “I don’t wish to sound too much of a big head, but the rights owner would need to run it past me first of all, because they’d need to sound out whether I’d go with it, and then would be told no.”

Lord Sugar is returning to the boardroom for the 12th series of The Apprentice in October and said he is still fully committed to the business reality show.

“I enjoy doing this, and I’ll continue to do it as long as I enjoy doing it – and, of course, as long as the BBC is prepared to run it,” he said.

This week’s Radio Times in on sale on Tuesday.

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