GBBO Creator Explains The Real Reason GBBO Moved From BBC To Channel 4
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When the Great British Bake Off moved from the BBC to Channel 4 last year it sparked a massive change to the presenter line up with Mary Berry and Mel and Sue refusing to move with the show. While at the time it was believed the reason for the move, which saw the show lengthened by ad breaks, was because the production company put their prices up the creator of the baking series has now revealed more details.
Speaking to Leeds Trinity University, the GBBO creator Richard McKerrow told Leeds Trinity University students that he made the decision on ethical grounds.
Speaking about the 2015 series which was won by Nadiya Hussain, McKerrow said that he felt 'bullied' by the BBC.
McKerrow said: "By now we had security and god knows what else yet we were paid three quarters of the amount we got for the first series.
"I think that unfortunately broadcasters bully independent producers and the BBC is the biggest bully of all and I don't think that is healthy for the industry. I felt bullied.
"There"s an arrogance that the BBC has that is not good for the industry."
The BBC have declined to comment on the claims from McKerrow.
When the move was announced in September 2016 the BBC released a statement which said 'they could no longer afford it' and added that their 'resources were not infinite'.
It is understood that the BBC offered about £15m to keep the baking show including the spinoff show Extra Slice hosted by Jo Brand.
However, Love Productions, believed the show's value was above £20m and Channel 4 bought the show in a record £75 million deal.
However, the move led to Mary Berry, Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc leaving the show, announcing their loyalties lay with the BBC.
In a statement Mary announced she would not be moving over to Channel 4 and bid farewell to the soggy bottom.
She announced: "What a privilege and honour it has been to be part of seven years of magic in a tent - The Great British Bake Off. The Bake Off family - Paul, Mel and Sue have given me so much joy and laughter.
"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. I am just sad for the audience who may not be ready for change, I hope they understand my decision.
"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."
Mel and Sue also released a joint statement: "We made no secret of our desire for the show to remain where it was.
"The BBC nurtured the show from its infancy and helped give it its distinctive warmth and charm, growing it from an audience of two million to nearly 15m 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."
Mel also joked later that her and Sue had ran out of puns to keep going.
This year's final which was broadcast on Channel 4 reportedly had the lowest ratings for a Bake Off final since 2012. According to iNews 7.5 million people tuned in to see Rahul be crowned the winner.