Great British Bake Off judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood set for
Published 26/01/2016 | 09:47
Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, the stars of the Great British Bake Off, are set to each receive pay rises of £100,000 (€130,000).
The judges of the BBC baking show are reportedly in line for their salaries to rise to £600,000 (€786,000) by 2017 as the production firm behind the hit programme saw a hike in profits.
Bake Off has become one of the UK's best-loved TV shows, with its mix of terrible puns and double entendres helping to draw in 14.5million viewers for the final show in the last series.
Berry, 80, and 49-year-old Hollywood - who will appear in The Great Sport Relief Bake Off on Wednesday night - are said to have seen their wages increase to £500,000 (€655,000) in 2015 when the show moved to BBC One from BBC Two.
Last year's show was won by Nadiya Hussain, who joined Berry and Hollywood in collecting the award for Best Challenge Show at the National Television Awards last week.
This year's series will be the final one under the judging's pair's three-year deal with the Corporation. And they are expected to be offered more money to extend their contracts.
Samantha Cameron, the Prime Minister's wife, will feature in the first of four episodes of The Great Sport Relief Bake Off on Wednesday night along with comedian Jason Manford and former footballer David James.
The show was filmed about a week after the publication of Call Me Dave, by Lord Ashcroft and Isabel Oakeshott, which included unsubstantiated claims that Mr Cameron took part as a student in a bizarre initiation rite involving a pig's head.
Manford said Mrs Cameron opened up on how she dealt with the claims when they were filming the celebrity edition of the show.
Speaking on his Absolute Radio show, Manford said he was impressed by Mrs Cameron when he met her: "I must say, you probably can guess from my accent that I didn't vote for her husband, but I'm surprised they don't roll her out more. She's just lovely, dead nice, dead chatty. I thought 'She's really nice'."
And he claimed Mrs Cameron warned her children to expect to be taunted with "oink, oink" noises from schoolmates in the week after the publication of the "Piggate" allegations against her husband.
Mr Cameron later said that "a very specific denial" had been issued about the claim and that most readers would be able to "see through" the motives of former Tory donor Lord Ashcroft, who admitted he decided to write the book after not being offered a senior government job.
The Great Sport Relief Bake Off is on Wednesday 27 January at 8.30pm, on BBC One.
Mel Giedroyc will be presenting (without Sue), while Clare Balding will be explaining where the Sport Relief money goes and why it is needed. Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry will be sampling the bakers' wares as always.
The charity edition of Bake Off has always pulled in the big names, but this year they've pulled off a humdinger - with Prime Minister David Cameron's wife Samantha appearing on the first episode.
"Sam Cam" will be joined by former England international and Premiership appearance record holder for a goalkeeper, David James; EastEnders actress Maddy Hill, who plays Nancy Carter in the soap; and Salford stand-up Jason Manford.
Continuing the political theme, former shadow Chancellor and, until recently, Labour MP for Morley and Outwood Ed Balls will be showing off his cake-making skills. He'll be alongside Victoria Coren Mitchell, ex-footballer and Sky Sports pundit Chris Kamara, and former Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh.
Upcoming weeks will see the likes of BBC war correspondent John Simpson, actress Alison Steadman and former Spice Girl Geri Horner (née Halliwell) brave the Bake Off marquee and the rigourous judging of Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry.
The rest of the bakers are Jermaine Jenas, Louisa Redknapp, Will Young, Adrian Edmondson and Morgana Robinson.