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Wednesday 7 December 2016

'We'll keep Bake Off safe', says C4 boss

Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins are quitting Bake Off Picture: BBC/Love Productions/Mark Bourdi
Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins are quitting Bake Off Picture: BBC/Love Productions/Mark Bourdi

The head of Channel 4 has promised fans of The Great British Bake Off that the programme will have a "safe home" on the channel.

Jay Hunt, Channel 4's chief creative officer, sought to allay worries the hit baking competition will founder when it leaves the BBC without its popular presenters, Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, after the current season.

Judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, mainstays of the programme since it began in 2010, have yet to confirm if they will follow.

Ms Hunt said the programme's makers will be the key ingredient in its future success, while the move will keep it on free-to-air television.

"Great British Bake Off will have a safe home," she said.

"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. And for an amateur baker like me, that's a real cause for celebration."

Ms Hunt used the recent move of Formula One from the BBC to Channel 4 as an example of their "good track record on protecting and growing the shows that viewers love".

The former BBC executive said Channel 4's intervention had prevented it being gobbled up by a pay-to-view television service.

Quaint

"The BBC and Love Productions grew Bake Off from a quaint idea into a global hit. But when they were unable to reach agreement on future series, Bake Off risked coming off free-to-air television altogether.

"By bringing the show to 4, Love Productions have ensured it will be on a terrestrial channel for audiences to enjoy for years to come."

Perkins and Giedroyc said they had "made no secret of our desire for the show to remain where it was" and were not "going with the dough".

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