The Great British Bake Off will never be the same again. 
On the face of it a programme moving from one channel to another should not make much of a stir in this day and age. After all we are continuously told that people don’t bother with scheduled TV much now and prefer to watch on demand  However the news that The Great British Bake Off will be moving to Channel 4 next year has provoked quite a furore (plus some witty headlines). More than anything It seems to symbolise the declining power of the BBC which is snared in a trap whereby success is discouraged. Which rather seems at odds with the idea that it is a public service broadcaster therefore should offer what a lot of people (ie licence fee payers) actually want to see. People have (rightly) made a fuss about this yet just a few months ago wasn’t there a call for the Corporation to offload its greatest successes and not try to compete with commercial channels? The BBC cannot do both so which is it to be? Or is this just another cut in a death by a thousand cuts?  

In the GBBO case it seems to be an act of greed by Love Productions who make the show. They have essentially cashed in on the show’s popularity perhaps aware that it cannot last. Last year’s audience of 15 million for the final is surely a peak that cannot be bettered. So they have taken the money (or as the media like to say the dough) at the cost of the integrity of the series.
A C4 version will be considerably shorter with advert breaks and that infuriating Channel 4 recap which assumes that a proportion of the audience have forgotten what they saw four minutes earlier. Now the show has lost Mel and Sue (who should be applauded for their stance) and in all likelihood  Mary and Paul (see how we can use their first names and everyone knows who we’re talking about) it will be a different programme altogether. We could end up with the show being hosted by the likes of Charlie Luxton and Sarah Beeny. Or even Amanda Lamb (whoever she is). Worse the judges could be Jamie Oliver and one of those brothers who are bakers. It will be a different show and ratings will tumble. Everybody’s loss except Love Productions. The BBC should at least abandon the company’s other shows.
For the BBC though this represents more than just the loss of one series. It appears to be part of a cumulative leakage of product. They lost most of their sport a while back, earlier this year The Voice went. If Strictly Come Dancing was not their own product they would probably lose that too.
What does it say about the BBC? They seem to cower behind their history and position when we all know their days are numbered. I would rather see them go out fighting than continuously bowing to endless assaults that are never representative of what the licence fee payers actually believe.

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