It's a pretty great time to be an avid television watcher. Between the network TV, cable, premium channels, and streaming services, there is a ton of quality programming currently available to couch potatoes everywhere. That's not to say that producing such works isn't still hard, as the balancing act between networks and production teams can often lead to disaster in regards to financial and creative control.
This seems to be exactly what happened at BBC, which suffered massive budget cuts in the past few years. This new budget has led many to wonder which programs would be getting the axe, and now it appears that one of the network's most successful reality programs has been the unfortunate victim of this circumstance. The Great British Bake Off has been lost by BBC, and will have a new home on British network Channel 4.
This news comes to us from Channel 4's official Twitter account which announced the departure, much to the dismay of BBC viewers. Deadine is reporting that The Great British Bake Off has signed a three-year contract with the network, and will air new episodes while working alongside production company Love Productions for new seasons.
While fans of Bake Off are sure to be pleased knowing their favorite reality show is still going to be on the air, the change in network may inspire a few differences in the series. The Guardian is reporting that the show's two hosts Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc will not be returning when the show debuts on Channel 4. This is pretty huge news, as the hosts and judges are the only two aspects of Bake Off which are consistent from season to season. Much of the humor and tone of the series is due to Perkins and Giedroyc's hosting and comedy skills, so the competition might be an entirely different animal without that dynamic duo.
The Great British Bake Off is a reality competition series which focuses on British residents who have a passion for baking. The contestants are not professional bakers or cooks, which adds a levity to the show and makes the stars relatable for the audience. Adding to the joy are the show's two judges, Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, whose commentary are usually appropriately sharp without ever seeming nasty (that's a move that American reality judges apparently have the right to). Each episode finds the bakers completing three challenges over the course of two days. In the end of each episode a "Star Baker" is awarded, and one contestant is eliminated.
Overall, the news that BBC would let The Great British Bake Off go is extremely surprising. This was apparently done because Bake Off was simply too expensive to produce, but it's also a massively popular series that has an international audience. I'm eager to see how Channel 4 changes the series, and if it maintains the charm which made it so beloved.