The Great British Bake Off move has sparked a public row between the BBC and Channel 4.
James Purnell, the BBC’s director of strategy, told the Royal Television Society conference in London that viewers were “extremely saddened that they’re not going to have something they absolutely love” with the show moving to Channel 4.
“You’re going to have your own take on it, but I think something really, really precious will be lost,” he said, adding that Channel 4 had “given ammunition to the people who want to privatise Channel 4″.
The relationship between the BBC and the show’s creators, Love Productions, is said to have deteriorated over budget rows and accusations that the corporation had used its format for other shows.
“I understand how painful it is to lose franchises, but let’s be utterly clear: this is an independent producer who, after three years of an increasingly dysfunctional relationship, decided they would no longer make the show for you,” the Channel 4 boss said.
The row comes after Mary Berry announced she would be following in the footsteps of Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc and staying at the BBC. Paul Hollywood is moving to Channel 4.