It looks like we won’t have to wait as long as we thought to see Channel 4’s version of The Great British Bake Off take shape – because despite early reports, it looks like the new take on the hit baking format will air this year after all.
Apparently the BBC (who lost the rights to the programme after C4 bid a reported £25m last September) have waived a clause in their original contract that would force their rival broadcaster to wait until 2018 to broadcast Bake Off, keen to avoid a public bust-up that could waste precious time and money.
A BBC spokesperson said the corporation would not “use its hold back clause against C4 and Love Productions in relation to Bake Off and its associated shows.
“We wish the programme well for the future and look forward to seeing who is cast on the show. The BBC is proud of the part it has played in growing and nurturing the programme – doing that is at the core of what the BBC does. We have many exciting projects for the future. Watch this space.”
An ‘insider’ added to BBC News: “We don’t want to get in the way of them reinventing the programme.
“In this instance, we believe it would be undignified to have one public service broadcaster in a potential dispute with another and the associated costs for each party would ultimately come out of programming budgets.
“We don’t believe in driving up costs in the public sector.”
Currently, judge Paul Hollywood is the only member of the original Bake Off team to remain attached to the new version of the series, with co-judge Mary Berry and hosts Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc all choosing to step aside after the move was announced.
With that in mind, the date confirmation seems to imply that new hosts will be found soon, so watch this space for further developments.