Ad breaks? Hosts? Judges? 8 important questions we have about Bake Off’s move to Channel 4

GBBO's off to Channel 4 and we've been delving into exactly what that means for the hit baking show

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The Great British Bake Off is packing up its ovens and moving from the BBC to Channel 4. This means we have questions. Lots of questions.

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We’ve become used to it on the BBC. Now there’s a change and we need to know some things. We don’t want to wait like one would for one’s bread to rise. We want to know now.

Bake Off’s good with a secret, we’ll give them that. But here’s what we do know…

Why is Bake Off leaving the BBC? Doesn’t it own the show?

No, the BBC don’t have control over the most popular show on TV. Bake Off is made and owned by Love Productions, the production company responsible for coming up with the original format. The BBC paid Love a set amount to make the show, but after negotiations over a new deal broke down, Channel 4 stepped in with a better offer.

Will Mary and Paul still judge Bake Off on Channel 4?

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Although Channel 4 scooped up Bake Off, they haven’t bought judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry too. They’re separately contracted to the show. So will they move with the tent? Well, there’s been no word from the duo since the announcement, but on the matter Channel 4 is clear: “We’d be delighted if they want to come to Channel 4.”

Insiders suggest it’s a decision that won’t be made quickly but that discussions are set to start soon.

What about hosts Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc? Will they still present The Great British Bake Off?

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So far the only comment from the hosts has come via Sue Perkins’s Twitter, in which she shared the BBC’s statement urging the production company to keep the show on the BBC. This was sent before the news that Channel 4 had bought the rights to the show.

RadioTimes.com has contacted both presenters’ representatives for comment.

Will there be a full series of The Great British Bake Off in 2017?

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Only a celebrity version in aid of Stand Up To Cancer has currently been confirmed by the broadcaster for 2017. The BBC could impose a clause preventing the channel from airing a full series next year, although insiders suggest that is unlikely to happen. Channel 4 said it would announce the dates of its first series in “due course”.

Is Channel 4 also going to air the spin-off shows?

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Bake Off has sister shows in the form of the Junior Bake Off (on CBBC) and The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice (on BBC2), so will they also air on C4? The answer: ‘maybe’.

“We have a number of hours in addition to the main show and celebrity show that are part of the deal. We’ll announce plans in due course, so it could include those, yes,” a Channel 4 spokesperson said.

Will The Great Pottery Throw Down and Sewing Bee also move to Channel 4?

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No. While they are also owned by Love Productions, both of these two shows are under separate contracts with the BBC.

Are big format changes expected for Bake Off on Channel 4?

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Insiders stress Channel 4 is not planning to alter such an incredibly successful show. “We’re incredibly proud to be the new home for Bake Off and we’re delighted that we’re keeping it free-to-air,” a spokesperson for Channel 4 told us.

But what about the advert breaks? Won’t that affect the format?

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“We’re not going to get into that level of detail today,” a spokesperson for the channel said, although format changes aren’t on the cards, despite the interruptions. How they’ll manage that remains to be seen. However, they say having adverts means they can keep the show free-to-air: “We are a commercially funded broadcaster, but the profits that we make go into programmes. We’re a public service not-for-profit broadcaster and the advertising enables us to keep shows like Bake Off free to air.”

Can BBC impose rules on Bake Off when it’s on Channel 4?

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No. The show is produced by Love Productions so they own all the rights to it: signature bakes, technical challenges, even the history bit. They can take that format to a different broadcaster and not change a thing. All they need now is someone to judge and present.

More as we get it…

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The current series of Bake Off continues Wednesday at 8:00pm on BBC1