I don’t often post about news items, but I am fizzing with fury; one of the most popular programmes on TV, now and possible in the whole history of broadcasting, has been killed, completely and utterly killed by sheer greed.
Whether you like the Great British Bake-Off or not, everyone must admit it’s really popular and has done so much to get people back into their own kitchens making their own bread, cakes, pastry and confectionery. Although it was seen on the BBC it was actually ‘owned’ by another company, who sold it to a commercial TV station for a whacking £25,000,000.
Why was GBBO so popular? It wasn’t just the idea of the competition, and the demonstration of interesting and different cooking and baking skills, it wasn’t just the good humour, and seeing the personalities of twelve different contestants emerge, it was the four presenters – two baking ‘judges’ and two ‘continuity’ presenters. They really liked each other, and really liked the people who were doing the baking, and there were countless jokes, and much fun; even though it is such a gentle competition in some ways, it is also very competitive (otherwise it wouldn’t be any good) and it could be really stressful and anxiety inducing, trembling lips, secret tears, upset when things went wrong, and if the presenters hadn’t been so kind and supportive it wouldn’t have been as good.
It seems as if all the negotiations went on behind the back of these four presenters, even though they were key to the whole programme; suddenly it was announced that GBBO would move from the BBC to Channel 4 (so the programme would be interrupted every fifteen minutes for commercials) without telling the people involved. Almost immediately two of them said they were retiring, they would not “follow the dough”; now one of the judges, “the doyenne of baking” as she is known, has also said she is leaving and in one report she was described as ‘heart-broken’. So that leaves one judge left… what will he do? Who actually cares now – as good a baker as he is, as marvellous a personality as he has, I really don’t care – I won’t be watching the revamp on Channel 4.
This is truly the parable of the killing of the goose who laid the golden eggs, played out in modern times. Greed, greed, greed, and a total disrespect to the people involved and the people watching who made it what it was.
Disgusted of Uphill