Netflix bosses 'surprised' they were not offered Great British Bake Off

The creative head of Netflix has said he was “surprised” when the streaming service was not approached to take on The Great British Bake Off.

The show departed the BBC to head to Channel 4 in September 2016 but Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at the streaming service, said he thinks his platform should have been in the mix.

Sarandos told the Press Association: “We were surprised when it came up that it wasn’t brought to us, with the competitive environment that we were in it would have been good to have more people at the table for the show.”

Love Productions, which makes the hit show, signed a three-year deal with Channel 4 after negotiations with the BBC ended without a resolution.

The streaming service is making its own venture into unscripted and reality programmes with Ultimate Beastmaster, which sees competitors from around the world tackle a physically-demanding obstacle course, but has scores of others in the pipeline and hopes a cookery show will be among them.

Sarandos said: “The BBC has a rich history of great competition shows, we just have the one right now and are hoping to build on that.

“Our big unscripted effort is coming up – we have about 20 shows in different stages of development. We are looking to produce original programming in that space across all the different forms, cooking, competition, all those kind of things.”

Reed Hastings, chief executive officer of Netflix, said he is unfazed by rumours the BBC and US premium cable channel HBO could soon follow the Netflix model of releasing all episodes of a series in one go, allowing the viewer to “binge” all the episodes over a short period.

Hastings said: “It’s great for consumers. We watch those shows and I wish my HBO shows like Silicon Valley would do the binge thing. They will get there and that is great.

“You wouldn’t want to release books one chapter at a time.”

Sarandos added: “I watched Big Little Lies (which will begin on Sky Atlantic in the UK later this month) and could have watched the whole thing in one sitting. It made me crazy.”

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