Friday 9 December 2016

Mel and Sue 'not going with the dough' when Bake Off moves to Channel 4

Published 13/09/2016 | 00:21

Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins will not be staying on The Great British Bake Off
Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins will not be staying on The Great British Bake Off
Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry are yet to sign deals with Channel 4

Presenting duo Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc have said they will not return to host The Great British Bake Off when it moves to Channel 4, adding that they are "not going with the dough".

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The pair have fronted the show since it first aired on BBC Two in 2010, alongside judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.

Perkins and Giedroyc said in a joint statement that they were "shocked and saddened" to learn of the Bake Off's move from the BBC.

They continued: " 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 15 at its peak."

They ended their statement with the wit that has made them a hit on the show, saying: "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."

The presenters have been a formidable team, with their "good cop, bad cop" approach and their many double entendres.

Their innuendo-laced references to things such as soggy bottoms and hot baps, as well as comments such as "You have got two hours to pop Mary's cherry ... ", have been a hit with viewers.

Off screen they have been friends for many years after meeting when they were students at Cambridge University.

On Monday the BBC said it would love to have kept Bake Off, but it had not been able to afford it.

According to BBC News, the corporation is believed to have offered Love Productions, the producers of the popular baking programme, £15 million per year to keep the show.

This amount fell £10 million short of what the corporation would need to retain the show on BBC One, it was reported.

Channel 4 has signed a three-year agreement with Love Productions.

The BBC said it had " made a very strong offer to keep the show but we are a considerable distance apart on the money".

Its statement continued: "The BBC's resources are not infinite. GBBO is a quintessentially BBC programme."

Perkins and Giedroyc presented Channel 4's comedy talk show, Light Lunch, together from 1997-1998.

They went on to host ITV's panel game show, Casting Couch, and also appeared on Channel 4's breakfast TV show RI:SE, which was a replacement for The Big Breakfast.

At the beginning of 2015 they made their return to ITV with a daytime chat show titled Mel A nd Sue.

The channel move will see Bake Off 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 it was "very proud" to be the new home for the series.

It is not yet known if Berry and Hollywood will stay as judges on the show when it moves to Channel 4.

A spokesman from Love Productions said: "We would like to thank Mel and Sue for bringing their own unique humour to the tent over the past years and we respect their decision not to be part of the Bake Off team on Channel 4."

Former chief executive of Channel 4 Lord Grade has condemned the move of Bake Off from the BBC, saying: "Channel 4 has shot itself very seriously in the foot."

He told BBC Radio 4's World At One: "It's been arguing very strongly for the last year or so against privatisation, putting up an argument that says its remit (is) to cater for tastes and interests not catered for on other channels and being different and innovating.

"(It) has just splashed out, if reports are to be believed, £25 million on a show that really belongs to the BBC.

"I think they have completely undermined their case against privatisation, that's the first thing to say.

"The second thing to say is I think the BBC were quite right not to overpay for this product, it leaves a gap in the schedule and they will invent another one."

Press Association

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