BBC fails to rise to the challenge to keep Bake-Off

The Great British Bake Off presenters, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins.
The Great British Bake Off presenters, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins.
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The BBC has lost the rights to one of its most popular shows, The Great British Bake Off.

Instead, the show will be moving to Channel 4, which has signed a three-year agreement with Love Productions, the producers of the popular baking programme.

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.

"GBBO is a quintessentially BBC programme."

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, which features judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood and is hosted by Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins.

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 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 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., which is now airing on BBC1 on Wednesday evenings.