BBC slams “cynical” Channel 4 in disagreement over scheduling

Aunty's got a right bee in her bonnet, it seems!

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The BBC has rescheduled its flagship cooking programme to avoid a head-to-head clash with Channel 4’s Great British Bake Off.

Featuring a new-look line-up with Paul Hollywood as the only returnee, Bake Off will air for the first time since leaving the BBC for Channel 4 on Tuesday August 29 in a move the corporation called “cynical”.

Channel 4 announced on Wednesday their first series would be airing at 8pm every Tuesday from the end of August – setting up a clash with BBC Two’s The Big Family Cooking Showdown which launched this week.

The show, considered to be the BBC’s replacement after it lost the hit baking programme, features former Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain.

The Big Family Cooking Showdown
Nadia is part of the BBC show’s team (Credit: BBC)

In a statement the BBC hit out at Channel 4 and revealed they would be moving the Zoe Ball and Hussain-fronted show to a Thursday evening slot “in the best interest of viewers”.

A spokeswoman said: “Channel 4’s decision to move Bake Off from its long-term traditional Wednesday slot will be a surprise to many viewers who may see this as a cynical move.

“We never intended for our new cookery show to clash with theirs.

“There is room for both and we don’t, in this instance, see any public value in two public service broadcasters going head to head in this way.

The new GBBO crew (Credit: Channel 4)

“We will therefore move our show to Thursday in the best interest of viewers to avoid such a clash.”

During its time on the BBC, Bake Off aired on a Wednesday evening.

Hollywood is the only member of Bake Off’s original line-up to move with the show and will be joined by co-judge Prue Leith and presenters Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding.

Mary Berry, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins opted to leave the baking show last year when its production company Love Productions controversially sold the show to Channel 4 after seven series on the BBC.