The BBC have lost the Great British Bake Off - and Stylist.co.uk's Deputy Editor Kayleigh Dray is extremely unhappy about it...
Someone has taken a baseball bat to television’s daintiest, most delicate meringue – and it’s lying in bits all over the kitchen floor.
Yup, that’s right; the BBC has lost the rights to The Great British Bake Off, and it has been spirited away to a brand-new home on Channel 4.
Who have, incidentally, already announced that they are already planning an extra-special celebrity edition of the show.
Since then, the mourning process for Bake Off fans has been something of an emotional rollercoaster.
First, we fumed over the fact that scheduled adverts would rip away 12 minutes of precious puns and baking time.
Next came sobbing, bargaining, and flat-out denial.
Then Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins announced that they were quitting the show, and our worlds – much like Louise Williams’ gingerbread church, completely fell apart
Because, yes, Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood might be the flour, butter, sugar, and eggs in this Victoria Sponge – but they're nothing without the buttercream and strawberry jam that is Mel and Sue.
The duo threw themselves into their roles as presenters with gusto, really getting to know each and every contestant, helping them out when times got rough, and keeping them from crying over spilled milk (or melted Baked Alaska).
Better still, their wicked sense of humour really gave the show its edge – and viewers would be left cackling over their endless supply of puns and innuendos.
Read more: Bake Off's 10 most hilarious innuendos
To paraphrase Berry, they kept the show beautifully moist.
Now, with Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry threatening to follow Mel and Sue's example and quit the show, it seems as if Channel 4 have paid a whopping £75 million for...
Well, for a tent and some cake tins.
Soggy bottoms all round then, yeah?
This means that Channel 4 will have to build it all back up from scratch – with the likes of Jamie Oliver, Davina McCall, Kirsty Allsopp, Jo Brand, and Jennifer Saunders all tipped as potential replacements for the classic Bake Off team.
But can the show ever maintain its success without the originals?
It’s highly doubtful.
Love Productions have made a massive error in judgement; clearly, after feasting on fabulous cakes for years, they’ve gotten too gluttonous.
So, when the BBC failed to match Channel 4’s ridiculous offer, they got greedy, and went with the dough.
Yes, money is important – but some things are more valuable.
Stuff like, say, loyalty and integrity.
Seven years ago, no other television network was willing to give their Bake Off baby a chance.
"Too boring", they said, "too dull. Who wants to sit around and watch people – boring real people, too, not celebs – fanny around with ovens and baking tins for sixty minutes?"
It was the BBC who lovingly scooped them up and gave them what they kneaded (pun intentional). And, for almost a decade, they lovingly moulded the show and helped it to rise into the quintessentially British programme we all know and love today.
They brought us new recipes, taught us all we needed to know about breads, and biscuits, and bakes. They went all over the country searching for amateur star bakers with buckets of personality. They gave Mel and Sue free reign to write their own jokes, and Paul and Mary the power to choose the challenges.
Best of all, amongst all the laughter and chaotic flour spillages, they let us see people doing their very best at the thing they loved the most – and truly inspired us in the process.
“I’m never gonna put boundaries on myself ever again. I’m never gonna say I can’t do it. I’m never gonna say ‘maybe’. I’m never gonna say, ‘I don’t think I can’,” proclaimed Nadiya Hussain when she won the show last year.
“I can and I will.”
Without the BBC at the helm, and with Paul, Mary, Mel, and Sue jumping ship, Bake Off is well and truly doomed to suffer a fate worse than TV death.
Instead of being allowed to bow out gracefully, it will be resurrected into a mutated version of itself, staggering back onto our screens time and time again.
Will it still be filmed without live studio audiences, or gormless presenters reading naff jokes from cue cards, or ridiculous gimmicks, or questionable public votes?
Will it still be filmed ahead of schedule, so that nobody has to screech “you are live in the Great British Bake Off tent - please do not swear"?
And will it be, at the very least, allowed to remain a precious sanctuary, sweetly scented with vanilla essence and utterly devoid of Z-listers?
Again, it's highly doubtful.
Perhaps it’s time to switch off and put what we’ve learned from the Bake Off team into practise in our own kitchens.
Or, you know, maybe the BBC can create their very own Fake Off to rival the Channel 4 show, bring back all our old favourites, and continue to provide us with the ultimate cosy autumnal viewing treat we need in our lives.