Headlines this week have provided a somewhat soggy bottom as the nation found out that The Great British Bake Off will move to Channel 4 for the next series, after Love Productions and the BBC were “unable to reach agreement on terms to renew the commission [of the show]”…
Following the news, hearts were broken as Mary Berry, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins released announcements stating they would not return out of loyalty to the BBC. Paul Hollywood was happy to stick around though, and unsurprisingly so, as he is reportedly being offered four times his previous pay package for the Channel 4 series.
This isn’t the first time the BBC has lost out on big money deals. Top Gear was the BBC’s most profitable show before the ‘fracas’ with Clarkson. Although they tried to renew the show with hosts Matt Le Blanc and Chris Evans, it instead went on to experience the show’s lowest viewing figures for over a decade. A lot of sports coverage, including The Open 2016, Formula One, and The Grand National, has moved to Channel 4 and Sky, and in November it was discovered that The Voice had been sold to ITV for 2017.
We must ask the question- is the departure of GBBO the final straw for the BBC? Some have already predicted that in five years’ time the BBC won’t even exist. It seems that they are more and more often being outmanoeuvred by commercial channels such as ITV, Sky and Channel 4.
The BBC states that it wants “to inform, educate, and entertain”, and since its creation in 1922, the BBC has delivered arguably the most impartial news service, being paid for by the people’s license fee, and giving the people what they want. But inevitably it has faced a huge amount of scrutiny, moreso than ever in the last decade. In 2012, allegations of sexual assault came out against Jimmy Savile, which lead to serious inquiries into the BBC. More recently, there has been anger following the government’s release of BBC salaries over £150,000. The government have said that they want to make the BBC more ‘transparent’ for the public.
However, considering we have a Tory government, and the BBC is a socialist concept, would it be so foolish to think that the Tories just want to destroy it? Maybe the idea of transparency is there to give power to the people, and give us a better insight into what the BBC is actually about. Or, maybe, they will continue to tear it apart and expose all its downfalls until it collapses and we are left with nothing but bias, advert-ridden TV. TV with no ethos to inform or educate, but instead to entertain by any means necessary, and make as much money as they can (Paul Hollywood, I’m looking at you).
Image: Evening Standard