Monday, 12 September 2016

BBC loses British Bake Off!

The current series of The Great British Bake Off will be the last seen on the BBC, Love Productions has told the corporation.

The production company is believed to be keen to keep the series on free-to-air television, with ITV and Channel 4 understood to be the frontrunners.

The popularity of the show, starring Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, means it could be worth as much as £20m per year to a commercial broadcaster.

In an internal email to staff, the production company said it was “really saddened by this outcome because we always wanted to stay on the BBC ... this has never been about who might write the biggest cheque, but about where we can find the best home for Bake Off.

“Unfortunately we were unable to agree either a fair valuation, nor were the BBC able to provide the necessary comfort for the future protection of such a distinctive and much-loved television series.”

Love Productions has been pushing for a significant increase in its fee from the BBC in a new deal. The cash-strapped BBC, which faces finding £750m in savings over the next few years under the new licence fee deal with the government, has balked and the talks reached an impasse.

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