Photo credit: (Flickr/ilkerender)
The day has finally arrived; it’s the final of The Great British Bake Off.
Whilst progressing to its usual on-screen recipe, publicly this year’s series has been mired in controversy following the revelation that it will move to Channel 4, with star ingredients Mary Berry and co-presenters Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc sticking with the BBC. Viewers took to social media to express their disdain at the prospect of the popular programme moving to Channel 4. Viewer loyalty goes a long way, but early reports have suggested that Channel 4 will only need to attract around 50% of the current viewers to remain profitable.
Then there’s the expected £8million sponsorship war that is expected to unfold. The commercial possibilities for The Great British Bake Off are huge, even if its popularity does take a knock and stalwart viewers don’t migrate to Channel 4. On a personal level, Berry, Perkins and Giedroyc have all been celebrated for their loyalty to the BBC.
By contrast presenter Paul Hollywood has been chastised for his decision to move to Channel 4 with the programme. Accused of following the dough, Hollywood has suffered significant reputation damage that could taint the show when it launches. Looking back through history, time has not been kind to presenters who have jumped ship – fashionistas Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine and presenters Susanna Reid and Adrian Childes are just a few whose notoriety has deflated since they left the channel that launched their careers.
So while Channel 4 has the commercial savvy to make The Great British Bake Off a success, it remains to be seen whether viewers embrace Hollywood’s presence on the show, or whether he would have been better off showing some loyalty to auntie.