The Great British Bake Off is moving to Channel 4, after negotiations with the BBC over the future of the show broke down.
A statement confirmed the news late on Monday night, after news broke that the baking show would be leaving the BBC after seven series.
The broadcaster has signed a new three-year deal with Bake Off producers Love Productions, beginning with a celebrity version of the show in 2017 in aid of Stand Up to Cancer.
Love Productions’ creative director Richard McKerrow said he believed he had found “the perfect new home” for The Great British Bake Off. The BBC had earlier said that it had made “a very strong offer to keep the show but we are a considerable distance apart on the money.”
“Channel 4 is very proud to be the new home for The Great British Bake Off,” said Jay Hunt, Channel 4’s chief creative officer. “I’m delighted we have been able to partner with the hugely talented team at Love Productions to keep this much loved show on free-to-air television.”
Bake Off began on BBC2 in 2010, before moving to BBC1 for its fifth series in 2014. It has risen to be one of the BBC’s most successful shows, its series six finale last year drawing a huge 13.4 million viewers.
However, creative director McKerrow said on Monday night that he was pleased to have found a new broadcasting partner.
“It’s a public service, free-to-air broadcaster for whom Love Productions have produced high quality and highly successful programmes for more than a decade,” he said. “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.”
RadioTimes.com reported in August that Love Productions’ deal with the BBC included a one-year “cooling off clause”, which would mean that the series would have to be off air for a year after leaving the BBC.
Channel 4’s current plan to broadcast a celebrity charity special in 2017 appears to confirm this, with Stand Up to Cancer typically airing in October every year.
Love Productions has worked with Channel 4 in the past, including on controversial factual documentary series Benefits Street.
The BBC had hoped that Love Productions’ would reconsider its decision to take the format elsewhere, with a statement saying that “the BBC’s resources are not infinite.”
“GBBO is a quintessentially BBC programme,” it added. “We hope Love Productions change their mind so that Bake Off can stay ad free on BBC1.”
Earlier this July, Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood had also expressed a desire to remain on the BBC, telling Chris Evans on Top Gear, “I’ve said, I think the girls have said as well, we want to stay with the BBC.”