CHANNEL 4 has admitted that judges and presenters of The Great British Bake Off are yet to sign deals to move to the broadcaster – but would be “delighted” if they do.
It was announced on Monday that the BBC has lost the show, one of the jewels in its crown, after refusing to pay a reported £25 million a year to keep it.
But the future of the show’s judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, and presenters Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, are still unknown.
Channel 4 has signed a three-year agreement with Love Productions, the producers of the popular baking programme, for the format.
Separate contracts for the presenters and judges have not yet been signed.
A spokesman for the broadcaster – which will air the show from next year – said: “We would be delighted if the presenters and judges want to come to Channel 4.”
Love Productions had said it had been “unable to reach agreement” with the BBC, which has broadcast The Great British Bake Off for six years.
A BBC spokesperson said the corporation would love to have kept Bake Off but that they were “a considerable distance apart on the money”.
They said in a statement: “Working with Love Productions, we have grown and nurtured the programme over seven series and created the huge hit it is today.
“We made a very strong offer to keep the show but we are a considerable distance apart on the money.
“The BBC’s resources are not infinite.
Statement on Great British Bake Off: pic.twitter.com/j4D0mMoqmN
— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) September 12, 2016
“GBBO is a quintessentially BBC programme.”
The statement, issued before the Channel 4 deal was announced, ended: “We hope Love Productions change their mind so that Bake Off can stay ad free on BBC One.”
Under the new partnership the multi-award-winning series 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.
Channel 4 said they were “very proud” to be the new home for the series.Chief creative officer Jay Hunt said: “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.”
In an earlier statement Love Productions thanked the BBC for the role it played in making Bake Off such an hit, and “the faith they showed in us over the years to develop it”.
The show began on BBC Two in 2010 before moving over to BBC One in 2014.
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.
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