The Great British Bake Off to Channel 4 - a timeline of the kitchen shake up


The seventh series of The Great British Bake Off has seen much of the drama take place off-screen, with the shock news that the programme would be jumping ship from the BBC to make a new home at Channel 4.

The Great British Bake Off
Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry (BBC/Love Productions)

As the final BBC run of the baking contest draws to a close, the show waves farewell to its original lineup of hosts as only Paul Hollywood will accompany it on its move, with co-judge Mary Berry and presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins all opting to bow out.

Here is a look at the timeline of events that saw the heat rise on the amateur baking competition as the announcements about its future unfolded.

The Great British Bake Off
The Great British Bake Off - will Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry leave along with Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc? (BBC/Love Productions/Mark Bourdillon)

September 12

The BBC announces it has lost its contract to broadcast The Great British Bake Off because it can no longer afford it, with programme makers Love Productions rumoured to be looking at a move to a different channel for more cash.

A spokesperson said: "The BBC's resources are not infinite. GBBO is a quintessentially BBC programme.
We hope Love Productions change their mind so that Bake Off can stay ad-free on BBC One."

Mary Berry stands with her dog Darcey outside her home in Buckinghamshire, after she announced that she will not join The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4, saying
(Hannah McKay/PA)

Later that day it is revealed that Channel 4 has won the contract, with Richard McKerrow of Love Productions saying: "It's tremendously exciting to have found a broadcaster who we know will protect and nurture The Great British Bake Off for many years to come."

September 13

Presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins confirm that they will bow out after this series, making no secret of their disappointment at the move.

A joint statement says: "We were very shocked and saddened to learn yesterday evening that Bake Off will be moving from its home. We made no secret of our desire for the show to remain where it was.

Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc present The Great British Bake Off
Mel and Sue are saying a farewell to GBBO (Mark Bourdillon / Press Association Images)

"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.

"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."

Speculation begins on who the new stars will be, with Extra Slice presenter Jo Brand's name touted.

Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya
Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya (Love Productions)

September 15

Channel 4´s chief creative officer Jay Hunt insists the Bake Off is secure, telling the Daily Telegraph: "Great British Bake Off will have a safe home.

"The show of soggy bottoms and good crumb will be made by exactly the same team who have always made it. We love it just as it is."

Jamie Oliver
(Anthony Devlin/PA)

September 17

Jamie Oliver denies that he will be joining Bake Off at Channel 4, telling the Daily Telegraph: "As much as I would get massive cred from my kids for having any kinda role, I've totally got my hands full even if I was asked, which I haven't been.

"I'm sure they'll pick the new hosts wisely - I'm just as keen to see who they are as you are!"

Mary Berry rocks a gold necklace
Mary Berry rocks a gold necklace (Ian West/PA)

September 22

Mary Berry announces that she too will be leaving the programme before its move.

She says: "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."

Mary Berry regal in blue (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Mary Berry regal in blue (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Shortly afterwards, Paul Hollywood says that he will be sticking with the series.

He says in a statement: "I am delighted that I will be continuing as a judge when Bake Off moves to Channel 4. I want to thank the BBC and Mel and Sue for making my time in the tent great fun and really rewarding."

Former culture secretary John Whittingdale weighs in on the matter, telling BBC Radio Four: "Channel 4 obviously have a remit to be distinctive and different, but I accept that they need to also at the same time generate revenue.

"They make popular programming which fulfils that objective. But in this case, they have essentially poached a show which is very successful from another public service broadcaster - and at some considerable cost.

Paul Hollywood
(Ian West/PA)

"It raises questions, even before it was discovered they'd failed, actually, to get presenters to come with them, as to whether or not it is appropriate for Channel 4 to be bidding against the BBC for a show which was created by the BBC.

"It's up to the production company to decide which way to go, but they've followed the money."

And former contestant Ruby Tandoh laid into Hollywood in a series of tweets which read: "ahhhhhh a peacocking manchild lingering wherever the money is, i am shocked.

Press Association - Ruby Tandoh (extreme left) had been accused of flirting with Paul Hollywood (right)
Press Association - Ruby Tandoh (extreme left) was accused of flirting with Paul Hollywood (right)

"This, from a man who turned up to work revving a rental lamborghini. or was it a ferrari. i don't remember, the air was thick w testosterone."

September 25

MPs say that they will investigate the controversial sell off.

Damian Collins, acting chairman of the culture, media and sport select committee, tells the Daily Telegraph: "We will have the BBC and Channel 4 in front of the committee and Bake Off is definitely something that we will ask about when they next appear."

(Philip Toscano/PA)
(Philip Toscano/PA)

September 27

Various TV stars and celebrity fans have voiced their concern at the Bake Off move, and Lord Sugar adds his thoughts, telling the Radio Times: "I think it's going to be a total disaster."

He adds: "Because [the BBC] make something successful like Bake Off or The Voice, then suddenly a commercial channel comes along and just goes and buys it off them, and greedy production companies sell it to them.

"I don't find that morally correct."

October 3

Despite the chaos of the move, The Great British Bake Off wins the top five spots for the most watched TV programmes of the year so far, showing it is still a hit with fans.

The Great British Bake Off
Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, who has confirmed she won't be moving when Bake Off leaves the BBC (Mark Bourdillon/BBC)

October 26

The Great British Bake Off airs for the last time on the BBC with the final episode of series seven.