Losing Mel and Sue from Bake Off could be recipe for disaster, says TV expert

The Great British Bake-Off could go the way of Top Gear after losing presenters Mel and Sue in its £75million move to Channel 4, says a De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) media expert.

The BBC’s flagship motoring show was savaged by viewers when radio presenter Chris Evans took over in a relaunch of the programme following the departure of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.

INSETbake off

Last week the BBC announced its popular cookery competition was to move to Channel 4 after it could not agree a new deal with producers Love Productions.  Presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins are not moving with the show.

Dr Paul Smith, of Leicester Media School, said it would be interesting to see whether it was the format of the show or the presenters which proved the most popular.  

He said: “One of the interesting things we have seen is the importance of format to contemporary TV. Rather than the channel owners making the programmes, we see them relying on independent producers who create programmes in a formulaic way.

“Is the value the format itself or it is the presenters involved in that particular version of the show? We have seen a similar situation with Top Gear with the BBC trying to relaunch that programme without star presenters.

“I think it will be a poison chalice for whoever takes over. We saw what happened with Chris Evans on Top Gear.”

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Dr Smith was being interviewed on BBC Radio Leicester’s Jonathan Lampon programme which focused on the media coverage of the move, which was featured on the front pages of many of the national newspapers. Click here to listen again.
He said: “What’s certain that it is a big blow for the BBC. It’s one of the few programmes that was able to bring the bring the nation together for a shared viewing experience.”

Posted on Monday 19th September 2016

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