Mary Berry speaks out after Channel 4’s showstopping move for Great British Bake Off

Will this be the end for Mary on the show?

One of the BBC’s signature dishes is set to become a showstopper for Channel 4.

The Great British Bake Off is on the move after the channel signed a new three-year agreement with the programme’s producers, Love Productions.

Under the new partnership the multi-award winning show will remain on free-to-air television.

The first Bake Off programme set to be broadcast on Channel 4 will be a celebrity version of the show in 2017, in aid of Stand Up To Cancer.

Jay Hunt, Channel 4′s chief creative officer, said: “Channel 4 is very proud to be the new home for The Great British Bake Off.

“I’m delighted we have been able to partner with the hugely talented team at Love Productions to keep this much loved show on free-to-air television.”

Richard McKerrow, Love Productions creative director said: “We believe we’ve found the perfect new home for Bake Off.

“It’s a public service, free-to-air broadcaster for whom Love Productions have produced high quality and highly successful programmes for more than a decade.

“It’s tremendously exciting to have found a broadcaster who we know will protect and nurture The Great British Bake Off for many years to come.”

The news has come as a shock to Bake Off fans and is another body blow for the BBC after it lost The Voice to ITV and Formula One coverage to Channel 4.

Alongside Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry has been one of the baking show’s erstwhile judges.

Just before the decision was made, the 81-year-old spoke out to The Sun about what the future of the show.

She said: “I have no idea, anything that happens is nothing to do with my choice.”

Whether this will mean that she will consider her options, now that the show is on Channel 4, we will wait to see.

It is clear that those that helped the show to become one of the nation’s favourites, had no influence as to where the show should go.

A BBC spokesman said the corporation would love to have kept the baking programme but that they were “a considerable distance apart on the money”.

The spokesperson said: “The BBC’s resources are not infinite. GBBO is a quintessentially BBC programme.

“We hope Love Productions change their mind so that Bake Off can stay ad free on BBC One.”

There have long been rumours that ITV was lining up to poach the series when the current contract with the BBC was up.

Last year’s Bake Off final was the most-watched show of 2015, with 15.1 million people seeing Nadiya Hussain crowned champion.

The return of the show in August set an audience record, as 10.4 million people tuned in for the first episode of the seventh series.

The programme, currently airing on BBC One on Wednesday evenings, is hosted by Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins.

Nancy Brown
Associate Editor