Bake Off spat as BBC reschedules rival show
The BBC has accused Channel 4 of being “cynical” after it was forced to reschedule its new cooking show to avoid a clash with The Great British Bake Off.
Channel 4, which bought Bake Off after seven series on the BBC, announced its first series of the revamped show would be aired at 8pm on Tuesday nights, beginning on 29 August.
BBC Two’s The Big Family Cooking Showdown, which launched earlier this week, is currently shown at the same time.
The broadcaster says it will now be moved to Thursdays to avoid a head-to-head clash.
The BBC said the rescheduling of the programme, which features former Bake Off winner Nadia Hussain, was “in the best interest of viewers”.
It added: “Channel 4’s decision to move Bake Off from its long-term traditional Wednesday slot will be a surprise to many viewers who may see this as a cynical move.
“We never intended for our new cookery show to clash with theirs.
“There is room for both and we don’t, in this instance, see any public value in two public service broadcasters going head-to-head in this way.”
Responding to the criticism, Channel 4 said the new version of Bake Off was always scheduled to air on Tuesdays, which is when the show aired when it first started.
A spokesperson said: “We made the decision about where to schedule The Great British Bake Off a few months after acquiring it and we haven’t moved it since then.”
Paul Hollywood is the only member of the programme’s original line-up to feature in the new series, and will be joined by co-judge Prue Leith and presenters Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding.
Mary Berry, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins opted to leave the show last year when it was sold to Channel 4 by Love Productions.