BBC bosses are facing accusations that they’ve been sabotaging shows from the company which makes the Great British Bake Off.
Love Productions and the Beeb used to be the perfect recipe, as they made several hugely successful series of GBBO together.
But when arguments over money saw Love Productions take Bake Off to Channel 4 for an incredible £75m, relations soured big time.
And things still clearly haven’t improved, with the accusations that the Beeb has poached their top talent for other shows.
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TV industry insiders have made claims that the BBC has gone all out to make sure the talent from Love’s other shows stay on the channel.
Claudia Winkleman, who hosted The Great British Sewing Bee, has been signed up to present Britain’s Best Cook, alongside former Bake Off judge Mary Berry.
And Sara Cox, who presented The Great Pottery Throwdown for both series, is to take over hosting duties on BBC2 series Back In Time For Tea.
Apparently without the hosting talent in place, negotiations for new series of the sewing and pottery shows have now stalled.
And the future of a third series owned by Love – Bake Off: Crème de la Crème – Is also believed to be hanging in the balance.
Love had previously slated the BBC for copying their successful format to make their own shows, such as BBC3 show Hair and The Big Painting Challenge on BBC1.
“The sheer arrogance of it all is astonishing,” said an insider.
“Not only has the BBC effectively ripped off Love formats and made their own, they are stonewalling existing shows that have been good for ratings for them.
“Sewing Bee and Pottery Throwdown have both done really well but now their hosts have both been nicked for other BBC shows,” the source added.
“There’s a view in the industry that the BBC is acting out of spite and not in the best interest of the licence fee payer.”
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However, an insider at the BBC was quick to dismiss the claims of sabotage.
“This is odd as Claudia and Sara are established BBC talent and you can’t poach talent you already have,” they said.
“On top of that we’ve made a cracking offer for another series of Sewing Bee.
“Love have a lot riding on moving Bake Off to Channel 4 and are clearly feeling the heat.”