The BBC took a risk when they first aired The Great British Bake Off (TGBBO), which moved from BBC2 to prime-time BBC1. A baking contest has risen up the rankings to become what you might call a flagship show. It has to be up there with Strictly as a show that is properly entertaining for all the family and all age groups.
As a public service broadcaster they do have to answer to the Board of Governors and those running the BBC must spend their budget wisely, but you do wonder why they couldn’t have done a deal with Love Productions (the makers of the show). The BBC offered £15m and the production company asked for £25m, so perhaps £20m would have been a fair price to keep the show on the Beeb, especially as last year’s final attracted 15 million viewers.
Changing presenters on established and successful formats doesn’t always work (think Top Gear) and there is an equally big risk for programmes that move to new channels. TGBBO could be a great flop on Channel 4, especially if Hollywood and Berry don’t move to C4. Even if all 4 presenters do move to C4 there is a risk that the interruption of the adverts and any other changes to the format will leave a bad taste in the mouths of the viewers.
I think the BBC has made a mistake by letting the show go. But, will Bake Off go stale on Channel 4? Only time will tell.