Great British Bake Off creator says move to Channel 4 was all about protecting the show’s format

Bake Off creator Richard McKerrow being interviewed by senior lecturer Glyn Middleton

By Harry McMullen

Richard McKerrow, creator of the Great British Bake Off, has said he believes the move from the BBC had to happen in order to ensure the survival of the programme.

In a talk at Leeds Trinity University, Richard McKerrow of Love Productions dismissed claims that the BBC split was down to money.

“It wasn’t greedy producers going for money,” he said. “All I’ll say is we did it to protect the format. We took it to the one place we knew would protect the format, and that was Channel 4.”

McKerrow, who is the mastermind of other awarding winning series such as Benefits Street, went on to say: “I think Bake Off would have died if we hadn’t moved – there were forces at work. It was a decision basically made on ethical grounds.”

The Bake Off moved from the BBC to Channel 4 in 2016, with judge Mary Berry and presenters Mel & Sue deciding not to make the transfer.

McKerrow said: “What people don’t realise is that three years before we left, the relationship with the BBC had started to deteriorate.”

The programme’s success, he said, had come at a high cost: “The BBC is a fantastic institution – we’re some of its biggest fans. But we found ourselves at the heart of an Orwellian nightmare.”

McKerrow was at the university as the final guest speaker at the 10th annual Journalism and Media Week.

All the highlights from the week can be found on the following link: https://livestream.com/accounts/3236183/events/8425277

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