So how did Channel 4 win Britain’s best-loved TV show? And what does that say about the sector’s new rules of procurement?
Rising like a spectacular loaf in a hot oven, The Great British Bake Off became the biggest show on UK television in autumn 2014. Its quintessentially British alchemy of warmth, generosity, self-deprecating sportsmanship and good humour has delivered audiences of up to 15.5m - and huge critical acclaim.
Platitudes about TV shows “winning the heart of the nation” are used too often, but with GBBO, this sentiment has the ring of truth. It is why the show’s shock £75m move from the BBC to Channel 4 spun round the national news cycle for much of September. A drama of Shakespearean scale, at its heart was a catastrophic breakdown in buyer and supplier relations.