Belfast Telegraph

BBC planning copycat show to rival Channel 4's Bake Off - report

Channel 4 acquired the rights to The Great British Bake Off last year (16) after a fierce bidding war with the BBC.

BBC executives are reportedly planning to launch a copycat version of The Great British Bake Off to rival the programme when it moves to Channel 4.

The much-loved baking show was announced to be moving to Channel 4 last year (16), after the BBC lost a fierce bidding war with the network.

According to reports, the BBC were thinking about planning a new baking programme to compete against the new look Bake Off, but BBC Trust chairman David Clementi appeared to dismiss these allegations when he said: "My personal opinion is they need to find a different format. My very personal view is that it peaked with (2015 winner) Nadiya Hussain. That’s a very personal view, not the BBC’s and good luck to Channel 4."

However, The Sun newspaper have now reported that the BBC are planning a "direct competitor" to Bake Off, with discussions as to who should host it.

The publication adds that Mary Berry, Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, who chose to stay with the BBC while Paul Hollywood moved with the programme to Channel 4, are not expected to be involved in the new show.

"Launching their own version of the show has long been rumoured since Channel 4 swooped in on Bake Off," a source told The Sun. "But things have picked up pace in the last few weeks and very high-level discussions have happened where a BBC version of a cookery or baking show that would directly compete with Paul and Channel 4 has been seriously talked about."

The insider added to the newspaper that the show is expected to be produced by the BBC Studios department, meaning they will keep hold of the rights to the programme - unlike Bake Off, which was owned by Love Productions.

A spokesperson for the BBC played coy when asked about rumours of a new show by The Sun, saying: "The nature of TV production means there are always lots of creative ideas in development but until ideas are commissioned we don’t comment on them. Nothing has been commissioned yet."

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