Belfast Telegraph

BBC 'to launch Bake Off rival with Mary Berry'

Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry could soon be rivals, amid reports the BBC are planning to launch a new cookery show to rival The Great British Bake Off, which was recently acquired by Channel 4.

BBC bosses are reportedly hoping to reunite Mary Berry with The Great British Bake Off hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins for a new cookery show.

Domestic goddess Mary announced on Thursday (22Sep16) that she had made the decision not to make the move to Channel 4 to continue judging baking hopefuls on the much-loved show, admitting her loyalty remains with the BBC. Her statement came just minutes before her fellow Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood revealed in his own release that he is moving to Channel 4 with the programme.

However, as the show's hosts Mel and Sue previously announced they would be sticking with the BBC, the broadcaster is now said to be thinking about reuniting the duo with Mary for a cooking show to rival their former hit.

"We’ve got three of the fab four staying with us. We’re thrilled," a source at the BBC told the Daily Mirror newspaper. "The chances of us reuniting Mary, Mel and Sue are very high."

Insiders added that former Saturday Kitchen host James Martin is currently one of the favourites to replace Paul in the foursome.

Paul announced he would be moving to Channel 4 in an emotional statement on Thursday, which read: "Since I was a kid, baking has been part of my life.

"The seven series inside the tent have created some great memories. Best of all, I have felt so pleased to experience other people getting the baking bug, just as I did when my dad helped me make my first loaf.

"Bake Off has brought baking to the nation and we’ve seen people from all walks of life and backgrounds experience the highs and lows of competition and, more importantly, helping each other.

"It’s been a huge part of my life and I just couldn’t turn my back on all that. So I am delighted I will be continuing as a judge when Bake Off moves to Channel 4."

However, his decision to turn his back on his former co-stars, as well as the BBC, has left many fans infuriated.

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