Debate: Will the Great British Bake Off rise to the challenge of Channel 4?

It is grabbing more column inches than any under-baked sponge, the GBBO is off to a new home – what do our avid fans think of the move?

Debate: Will the Great British Bake Off rise to the challenge of Channel 4?

Stars Sue Perkins, Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood and Mel Giedroyc

Louise Rouvray thinks Channel 4 is the home of opportunity...

Has everyone on the Bake Off bandwagon forgotten how to use their remote controls? Flick across three channels and ta-dah, there you’ll find it.

Yes, Channel 4 is taking over the tent next year and – shock, horror – questions are being raised about Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood remaining as hosts.

And then of course, there were the annoying Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, whose humour was about as funny as a funeral.

Well fear not, the oven has been turned off on them, thank heavens.

Horrified fans across the country have been wrinkling their noses in disgust at the mention of the move, you’d think a brownie had just burnt in the oven if you didn’t know Bake Off was leaving the Beeb.

But once we’ve all clambered down off the hotplate and let our bread cool, perhaps we could just think of the possibilities – opportunities even – that this shift may bring.

So swapping hosts can be a slippery path to tread down and between them the BBC and Channel 4 has seen a lot of flops – lest we not forget Jeremy Clarkson’s departure from Top Gear and Chris Evans two minutes later, and then there’s the tragedy we now call Saturday Kitchen Live, a host-less mess with ever plummeting viewing figures.

But to avoid the Bake Off going down like Iain Watters’ baked Alaska in the bingate scandal, lets consider the suitable – if not better – alternatives to Mary and Paul.

Instead of craggy Mrs Berry we could have shapely Miss Nigella Lawson licking the cream off the cakes and giving viewers a cheeky wink as she picks the best of the bunch. And we could all be saved from the cringy flirting Mr Hollywood deems appropriate for prime-time viewing, and have someone more wholesome. James Martin anyone? He’s got some time on his hands having left Saturday Kitchen and we already know he can handle his eggs. A people person, surely James could do a better job of picking the best buttercream and complimenting cookies?

As for Sue and Mel, I doubt they have raised even the slightest titter in any household across Britain and yet we are subjected to their dull and dry gibber each week. Every time they pop on screen the nation tightens up in wait of the cringeworthy comments that inevitably follow.

Since Bake Off is jumping ship, who knows, perhaps The One Show’s Matt Baker and Alex Jones would like to swap fluffy news stories for fruitcakes? Or could you imagine Paddy McGuinness getting his hands on some frosting – let the cream see the cake?

Haven’t we all had enough of the BBC hogging TV time anyway?

‘But what about adverts?’ the masses cry. Anyone who watches Bake Off knows they can’t get through an episode without nibbling a biscuit, it means we’ll have all the more time to boil the kettle and have a cheeky sliver of cake, perhaps even adding to the viewing experience.

It’s time for Channel 4 to have TV’s crème de la crème. Move your soggy bottom over Beeb, let Channel 4 cook up a storm.

Lisa Williams says keep it British...

The nation’s had the air knocked out of it, writes Lisa Williams. When the news broke, up and down the country, Great British Bake Off fans were left feeling like deflated soufflés and there were plenty of soggy bottom. . . lips. It’s caused quite a stir.

The BBC no longer has the rights to The Great British Bake Off. 

And that’s one big recipe for disaster. What will Channel 4, who out-bid the Beeb to secure a three-year deal for the show, do to it? Well, one of the first and worst things will be the introduction of adverts, the scourge of all good television. 

As sure as eggs are eggs, our once uninterrupted 60 minutes of feet-up, get cosy with a cuppa and a slice of something gooey, indulgence of observing the bakers in action will be reduced to around 44. 

All to make way for nonsensical advertising clogging up valuable air time. Wonderful.

The next calamity to befall the GBBO will be the potential loss of the magic ingredients, sugar sweet Mary Berry and slightly sour, but he’s got a lovely twinkle in his eye, Paul Hollywood. They are irreplaceable. Who could do such a job? Certainly not some young, glossy and glamorous reality TV show reject so don’t even think about it C4 people! 

Then there were their sidekicks to consider, Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc. 

Love them or hate them they were the icing on the cake. They came up with some amusing puns every week which was a tough old task and they offered plenty of shoulders for the contestants to cry on.

Change all this and it isn’t the same show and shouldn’t be aired as such. 

The channels are so different. Think of the BBC and you think of true Brits, flying the flag of patriotism, all stiff upper lips, cream teas and ladies what lunch. Channel 4 is more true grit. Alternative, less mainstream with sprinkling of controversy. How will GBBO make the leap and be a success?

Surely the Beeb has enough dough to be able to keep the much-loved show?

Why not slice a wedge of cash from the budget of some of the channel’s weekly football coverage: Football Focus, Final Score, Match of the Day, Match of the Day 2 and now The Premier League Show adding up to a yawn-inducing four hours and 55 minutes of witterings about the beautiful game and all the action on the pitch. 

Is all that really necessary?

This has really whisked us die-hard GBBO fans up into a frenzy and we’re having a tantrum. 

Yes, we’re baking up a storm and we will be crying over spilt milk because we really do want to have our cake and eat it.

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