As The Great British Bake Off heads to Channel 4, here are the facts we know so far:
Paul Hollywood will be a judge on the show, having agreed to a three-year contract. The baking expert is the only one of the original line-up of judges and presenters not to step down, explaining: “It’s been a huge part of my life in the past few years and I just couldn’t turn my back on all that.”
Mary Berry and co-presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins have all quit. Mary said her decision was out of “loyalty” to the BBC, explaining: “They have nurtured me, and the show, that was a unique and brilliant format from day one.” Mel and Sue said they were “not going with the dough” and had wished for the show to remain where it was.
Why did this happen?
Channel 4 has commissioned three series and is believed to have offered the production company, Love Productions, £25 million per year. The BBC, which is reported to have offered £15 million, said it “made a very strong offer to keep the show but we are a considerable distance apart on the money”.
Should we be worried?
The show will be in safe hands, according to Channel 4. The broadcaster’s chief creative officer Jay Hunt has tried to allay worries that the hit baking competition will flounder with a new line-up. Writing in The Daily Telegraph, she assured viewers: “Great British Bake Off will have a safe home. The show of soggy bottoms and good crumb will be made by exactly the same team who have always made it. We love it just as it is.”
When does it return?
Channel 4 will begin airing the programme in 2017, starting with a celebrity special in aid of Stand Up To Cancer.
Will the show change?
Love Productions has sought to assure fans the format will not change. Creative director Richard McKerrow said: “We want to reiterate to Bake Off fans that the show they love will remain wholly familiar, and that Channel 4 is a great place to make our show. Bake Off will be produced by the same team, in the same tent, with the same recipe.”
Who will replace Mel, Sue and Mary?
The bookies’ favourites to replace Mel, Sue and Mary in the Bake Off tent include last year’s winner Nadiya Hussain and TV chefs Jamie Oliver, James Martin, Delia Smith and Nigella Lawson, as well as presenters Lisa Faulkner, Kirstie Allsopp and Davina McCall.