Paul Hollywood inks three-series Great British Bake Off deal as Channel 4 loses Mary Berry who remains loyal to the BBC
Paul Hollywood has inked a three-year deal with Channel 4 to move to the broadcaster for the next three series of the Great British Bake Off, the news comes as judge Mary Berry has refused to follow the show out of loyalty to the BBC.
In a statement published today (22 September) Hollywood said he was "delighted" to be continuing on the show.
"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.
"The Great British 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 in the past few years and I just couldn't turn my back on all that - the bakers themselves, the bakes, the team that makes it, and of course the tent, the bunting, and who could forget… the squirrels.
"So I am delighted that I will be continuing as a judge when Bake Off moves to Channel 4. I want to thank the BBC and Mel and Sue for making my time in the tent great fun and really rewarding."
— Kaya Burgess (@kayaburgess) September 22, 2016
The statement was first tweeted by a reporter from the Times, but the BBC reports that the news has since been confirmed by Channel 4.
Last week, Love Productions accepted a lucrative bid form Channel 4 to seize the property – however, to date, the BBC has retained the talent after Mel Giedroyc, Sue Perkins and Mary Berry all jettisoned from the format, leaving only Paul Hollywood and a tent.
On Thursday morning (22 September), Berry announced her departure from the show, leaving Channel 4 with a serious talent problem.
She said: "What a privilege and honour it has been to be part of seven years of magic in a tent - The Great British Bake Off. The Bake Off family - Paul, Mel and Sue have given me so much joy and laughter," she said in a statement.
"My decision to stay with the BBC is out of loyalty to them, as they have nurtured me, and the show, that was a unique and brilliant format from day one. I am just sad for the audience who may not be ready for change, I hope they understand my decision.
"I wish the programme, crew and future bakers every possible success and I am so very sad not to be a part of it."
Time will tell whether Channel 4 will be able to pick up the format after the succession of its starts.