Belfast Telegraph

Lord Alan Sugar: 'Bake Off move will be total disaster'

Lord Alan Sugar insists if The Apprentice ever moved channels, he would not go with it.

Lord Alan Sugar predicts disapproves of The Great British Bake Off's controversial move from the BBC to Channel 4.

The baking competition has become a ratings hit for BBC, currently reaching peaks of 15 million viewers per episode, but the businessman and TV personality, who fronts The Apprentice on the BBC, doesn't think the show will achieve the same success when it begins airing on Channel 4 from 2017.

He blasted "greedy production companies" and told the Radio Times magazine, "I think it's going to a be a total disaster."

Speaking of executives at makers Love Productions, "Think about their personal credibility as the production company, if this thing bombs on Channel 4. I mean, the difference between 15 million viewers, right, which Bake Off got, to possibly settling down to about three million on Channel 4, surely that's got to mean something to them, hasn't it? It's not always the money, you know."

He also said if the makers of his entrepreneurial TV competition tried to do the same with The Apprentice, he wouldn't go with the show because he is loyal to the BBC and he doesn't believe selling formats from the BBC to the highest bidder is "morally correct".

Sugar says he would follow in the footsteps of Bake Off judge Mary Berry and presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins and leave the show. Mary's fellow judge Paul Hollywood is the only one moving to the new Channel 4 programme.

"The rights owner would need to run it past me first of all, because they'd need to sound out whether I'd go with it, and they would be told no... I wouldn't do it," he said.

He also added the BBC was "getting a raw deal" by helping make a successful show, which is then sold onto a commercial channel, much like their version of singing competition The Voice, which has moved to ITV ahead of its 2017 series.

The Apprentice has been airing on the BBC since it began in 2005. The twelfth series kicks off next month (Oct16).

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