Thursday 19 October 2017

Great British Bake Off ‘modern’ and ‘future facing’ on Channel 4

Channel 4 paid a reported £75 million for three years of the hit show.

The new Bake Off line-up (Love Productions/Channel 4/Mark/Press Association Images)
The new Bake Off line-up (Love Productions/Channel 4/Mark/Press Association Images)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

The much-loved Great British Bake Off will have a “new tone” and “feel modern” on Channel 4, the broadcaster has said.

Channel 4 paid a reported £75 million for three years of the hit show, which scored 15 million viewers on the BBC.

A source said that, so far, in the first episode of the new series, there were none of the “soggy bottom” jokes that Bake Off has been long-associated with.

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File photos of Bake Off presenters Sandi Toksvig (left) and Noel Fielding (PA)

Jay Hunt, Channel 4’s chief creative officer and the force behind the broadcaster securing The Great British Bake Off, said that she was “quietly confident” about the series.

She said she hoped viewers would find that “this is Bake Off but with an extraordinary, high calibre of contributors and it’s got a slight Channel 4 feel to it.

“We’ve got a new tone to it, it’s got a new comic riff to it. I think that feels modern and future facing. I think it’s a show that people will love with a Channel 4 spin.”

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Jay Hunt (Channel4/Press Association Images)

Her comments come after Sue Perkins, who hosted the series on the BBC with Mel Giedroyc, admitted that she was running out of puns.

Ms Hunt denied reports that relationships between the new team – judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood alongside hosts Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig – had soured.

“I was in the tent a few weeks ago for the whole day. I was struck by completely the opposite.

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Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins (Ian West/PA)

“Chemistry is hard to achieve on television and the thing that I took away from it more than anything else is that there was natural warmth and that they got on really well and their humour worked incredibly effectively together,” Hunt said.

She added: “Their chemistry is fantastic, the calibre of the baking is absolutely jaw dropping…

“I can reassure all the sceptics that it’s looking absolutely fantastic.”

A source said that in the first episode there were no “soggy bottom” jokes.

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Prue Leith (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

“With Noel, it’s a slightly more surreal take. So far, episode one, there’s no reference to soggy bottoms but it’s got a freshness and it feels modern in terms of their comic take on it… It’s got a slightly more surreal twist,” the source said.

“Noel’s got a big, bright primary colours imagination and that’s where his gags are mined from.”

A clip, aired to the media as Channel 4 unveiled its annual report, showed a brief glimpse of the line-up in action.

Comic Fielding told the bakers: “Sadly I have to deliver the bad news… a horrible job.”

As Leith and Hollywood began their deliberations on who would be ejected from the tent, Toksvig joked: “You could say Noel.”

Fielding added: “I’ll go. I’ll go now. I’ll take a hit for the team. It’s been great…”

Planting a kiss on Toksvig’s cheek, he added: “See you later kids.”

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