Mary Berry to lead new rival to the Great British Bake Off

first_imgMary Berry is being lined up to join Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins in a new BBC cookery competition, after Paul Hollywood became the only Great British Bake Off presenter to follow the programme to Channel 4.BBC sources said that the corporation is considering launching a rival toBake Off with three of its original presenters. Hollywood has signed a three-year deal, said to be worth around £1 million, to move with the hit baking show to its new home. Hollywood’s BBC contract was said to be worth around £75,000 a series,with the baker thought to have quadrupled that deal to move to Channel 4.In a statement, Hollywood said: “It’s been a huge part of my life in the past few years and I just couldn’t turn my back on all that.” As well as needing three new members of the presenting team, it is understood that the programme will run to more than its usual one hour length when it airs on Channel 4, after executives at the broadcaster took the decision not to cut the running time in order to accommodate advertising breaks. Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry Berry, 81, confirmed on Thursday morning that she had turned down the chance to transfer to Channel 4, after the show’s makers, Love Productions, secured a £25 million a year deal with the commercial broadcaster.Her announcement was rushed forward by the BBC after Hollywood informed the corporation on Wednesday evening that he had agreed a deal with Channel 4.Berry said that she had elected to stay with the BBC “out of loyalty to them, as they have nurtured me, and the show, that was a unique and brilliant format from day one”.  Mel and Sue have already announced their departure Credit:Love Productions  The BBC is understood to have told Berry that she will be placed at the heart of the corporation’s cookery line-up and will be styled as the broadcaster’s number one television chef until she chooses to retire.Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s director of content, said there were plans to “cook up more unmissable shows with [Berry] in the future”.Sources said that a cookery contest featuring the 81-year-old, as well as former Giedroyc and Perkins, was already under discussion.center_img Perkins and Giedroyc announced two weeks ago that they would not “follow the dough” to Channel 4, after declining to enter negotiations with the commercial broadcaster.Berry is also understood to have refused to enter formal talks with Channel 4, with sources there confirming they had only “sporadic” contact with the presenter’s agent in the weeks since it was announced that Bake Off was leaving the BBC.The corporation would face stiff opposition if it attempted to copy the format of Bake Off too closely. Love Productions, the company that owns the brand, forced the BBC to pay damages after accusing the broadcaster of “ripping off” the format to create Hair, a BBC Three show about amateur hairdressers. Mary Berry declined to return to the Bake Off on Channel 4Credit: Mark Bourdillon/BBC  Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img

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