Nadiya Hussain and Zoe Ball to front BBC’s Great British Bake Off replacement

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Kayleigh Dray
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The Great British Bake Off may be moving to Channel 4, but the BBC isn’t prepared to give up the baking baton (which we presume takes the form of a wooden spoon) without a fight.

That’s right; they’ve only gone and announced a brand-new rival baking show, fronted by beloved GBBO star, Nadiya Hussain.

Dubbed The Big Family Cooking Showdown, the show will see 16 families from across the UK enter a flour-laden battle to become the nation's best home cooks.

That’s right; 16. They’re definitely going to need a bigger tent.

Each team will span across generations, with grannies and grandkids alike taking turns to unveil their favourite recipes, beat the mixtures, stare pensively into the ovens, and, presumably, help out with the washing up.

The drama will kick in once the Beeb sends a team of expert judges – Hussain, Zoe Ball, Giorgio Locatelli, and Rosemary Shrager – into the families’ homes to help whittle down teams through challenges involving everyday meals.

Speaking about her role on the new show, Hussain said: “Family and food have always gone hand in hand and I’m looking forward to getting to know the recipes and traditions of the different families taking part.

“Having been through a food competition as an amateur cook myself, I know exactly how tough it can get and so I’ll be there for them, alongside Zoe, as the pressure really builds.”

Zoe Ball added: “It’s time to celebrate passionate foodie families all over the country and this series will show us home cooking at its best, even if it’s using old pans and mismatched crockery! We’re meeting 16 very different families over the course of the show and witnessing their team dynamics.

“I'm not the world’s best cook as my kids will vouch but I'm learning so much from these families and from Nadiya. New recipes, top tips & some definite do's and don'ts, I can't wait to share this joyous celebration of family and cooking with everybody.”

Meanwhile the BBC's Acting Head of Formats and Features Donna Clark has said: “I'm thrilled to be taking food competitions in a different direction.

“A passion for food starts in the family kitchen and this format will take us into homes up and down the country, where we'll meet Britain's most passionate and exciting families of cooks.”

The Big Family Cooking Showdown has been described as a “feel-good show full of character and warmth with authentic home cooking at its heart”.

Sound familiar?

Yup, it’s essential Bake Off, albeit with a wider range of food plus added family dynamics.

The Big Family Cooking Showdown is now in production and is due to air for the first time in autumn 2017 – around the same time GBBO would originally have fallen into the BBC’s schedule.

It remains to be seen how it will fare against Channel 4’s version of Bake Off, which, so far, has yet to ensnare a new presenting team as a replacement for Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins.

Paul Hollywood, of course, will be returning as a judge – although Mary Berry will not. While the Queen of Cakes has set the bar incredibly high, show bosses are rumoured to have found a “like for like” replacement in the form of restaurateur and food writer, Prue Leith.

The show is confirmed to return to our screens this year – and applications are now being accepted online.

Images: Rex Pictures