RadioTimes.com understands that the BBC is close to confirming that it will not renew the needlework talent show which is made by Love Productions – the same company that took The Great British Bake Off to Channel 4.
Love’s decision last September to move Bake Off away from the BBC after seven series strained relations between the broadcaster and the independent production company.
According to one source, senior BBC executives are keen to make a clean break from the “Great British…” franchise although the decision over Sewing Bee has not yet been formally rubber-stamped. Question marks also remain over The Great Pottery Throwdown and Bake Off spin-off Crème de la Crème which features professional pastry chefs.
Neither Love nor the BBC would comment on the claims, but the BBC was unable to confirm that a new series of the Great British Sewing Bee has been commissioned.
So far four series have aired. The last run aired last summer and saw north Londoner Charlotte Newland crowned champion. Auditions for contestants to appear on the 2016 series were held the previous September. RadioTimes.com understands that no Sewing Bee auditions have so far been held for a series in 2017.
The second series of The Great Pottery Throwdown began last week and Bake Off: Crème de la Crème is due to air later this year. RadioTimes.com understands that these runs were commissioned before BBC1 lost Bake Off to C4.
A spokesman for Love said: “No decision has yet been made regarding the future of The Great British Sewing Bee.” The spokesman declined to comment further.
Asked to comment on the claims or to disclose the future of other “The Great British…” shows, the BBC said in a statement: “The second series of Throwdown began last week on BBC Two, and Creme is on later this year. Decisions on future series (of Sewing Bee, Throwdown and Creme) will be made as part of the standard commissioning process.”
Asked whether auditions for The Great British Sewing Bee had taken place, the BBC declined to comment.
When asked about the future of the show at the Radio Times Covers Party, presenter Claudia Winkleman – who works with judges Patrick Grant and Esme Young – said: “I would love to see it back I just…don’t know. I can’t speak about it. Something bad will happen.”
Asked if it could move to another channel, she said : “I don’t know the answer to any of those questions. I am only employed because I am obedient. I will turn up, paint myself bright orange and read out loud. I don’t know.”
Ben has worked as a professional journalist specialising in TV and the arts for nearly twenty years. After a two year stint on local newspapers in the mid 1990s, he spent more than 5 years as the broadcast reporter at the Stage newspaper. Following that he enjoyed staff reporting positions at the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Times breaking stories and writing features before settling as a full time freelance writing for an array of newspapers and magazines - but mainly for the Guardian, Evening Standard, Broadcast, Independent and the New Statesman where he wrote a column.