The news that the Great British Bake Off will be moving from the BBC to Channel 4 has been met with disappointment, and it only continues to get even more disappointing.
First, we had the departure of Bake Off hosts Mel and Sue, and now we have another staple of the ex-BBC show leaving due to the change of channel.
At the time, the pair said: “The BBC nurtured the show from its infancy and helped give it its distinctive warmth and charm, growing it from an audience of 2 million to nearly 15 [million] at its peak. We’ve had the most amazing time on Bake Off, and have loved seeing it rise and rise like a pair of yeasted Latvian baps. We’re not going with the dough. We wish all the future bakers every success.”
This time it’s none other than Mary Berry who has announced her departure, and she has made it clear that she is leaving because of the show’s migration to Channel 4.
She said: “”My decision to stay with the BBC is out of loyalty to them, as they have nurtured me, and the show, that was a unique and brilliant format from day one. What a privilege and honour it has been to be part of seven years of magic in a tent.”
“I am just sad for the audience who may not be ready for change, I hope they understand my decision. The Bake Off family – Paul, Mel and Sue have given me so much joy and laughter.” I wish the programme, crew and future bakers every possible success and I am so very sad not to be a part of it. Farewell to soggy bottoms.”
This is definitely going to be a blow for fans of the show, who were already skeptical about the show’s future after Love Productions announced that the show would be migrating to Channel 4.
There were concerns before, and those worries have only been compounded by the departure of the iconic hosts Mel and Sue, and now that Mary Berry is leaving as well, I have a feeling that the Bake Off will lose a lot of viewers.
As we discussed before, the reason that Love Productions is moving the Bake Off is purely down to money. The BBC offered £15m for the rights to air the show, but were resoundingly beaten by Channel 4, who offered a staggering £25m.
You might think that Love Productions may come to regret their choice, given how many staples of the show have already left, but according to Toby Syfret, a media expert at Enders Analysis, that may not be the case.
He said: “If Bake Off gets even half the success on Channel 4 that it got on the BBC, it will more than cover itself. Channel 4 are likely to charge premium rates in terms of airtime, in the region of £50,000 to £100,000 for 30-second slots, even if it just gets audiences of around 3 million.”
“And if Bake Off draws in 5 or 6 million then that will be another step up. It doesn’t have to get anything like the audience it had on BBC1 to be successful and make back the £25m it spent.”
So, that probably means that Love Productions probably won’t be changing their minds, despite the loss of several key people on the show. What are your thoughts?