Paul Hollywood has said that he and Mary Berry want The Great British Bake Off to remain on the BBC, despite rumours that ITV is interested in taking the hit show.
Responding to a question on Top Gear over whether commercial broadcaster ITV had been interested in Bake Off, Hollywood said there was no desire among the show’s main stars – including hosts Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc – to leave the Beeb.
“I’ve said, I think the girls have said as well, we want to stay with the BBC,” Hollywood told Chris Evans on last night’s Top Gear.
“As far as Mary, Mel, Sue and myself, we want to stay with the BBC,” Paul added, turning to the crowd to ask: “Don’t you think so? Stays with the BBC?”
Even fellow guest Jennifer Saunders, who has appeared on the celebrity version of Bake Off, branded it “ridiculous”.
The show’s current deal with the BBC is nearing its expiry date, with one more series to go in the current three-year deal with producers Love Productions.
It’s no surprise of course that others are interested: all that cake baking brings with it tasty viewing figures (13.4 million saw Nadiya Hussain crowned champ last year).
But if Hollywood’s words are anything to go by, it seems there’d be a soggy mood among the cast if it were to move. And there’d be an even soggier mood among viewers, with the Guardian reporting that if a rival did scoop the show, they wouldn’t be able to air a series until 2018 due to a year-long ‘cooling off period’ written into the BBC contract.
Series 7 of The Great British Bake Off returns later this year