BBC reschedules cooking show to avoid ‘cynical' clash with Channel 4's Bake Off

The Big Family Cooking Showdown will now air on Thursdays.

The BBC’s flagship cooking programme hosted by former Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain has been rescheduled so it will not go head to head with Channel 4’s new version of the baking show.

The broadcaster accused Channel 4 of being “cynical” after it announced its first series of the revamped Great British Bake Off will air at 8pm on Tuesdays, beginning on August 29, setting up a clash with BBC Two’s The Big Family Cooking Showdown which launched this week.

ITV has announced it will air a documentary about Diana, Princess of Wales, entitled Diana: The Day Britain Cried on August 29.

The BBC has rescheduled its programme to Thursdays to avoid a head-to-head clash, saying it is acting “in the best interest of viewers.”

The new version of Bake Off, which features Paul Hollywood as the only returning member of the presenting team, was always scheduled to air on Tuesdays, Channel 4 responded.

A statement from the channel said: “We made the decision about where to schedule The Great British Bake Off a few months after acquiring it and we haven’t moved it since then.

“It is in the original Tuesday evening slot where the majority of past series have played.”

The Big Family Cooking Showdown, considered to be the BBC’s replacement after it lost the hit baking programme, features former Bake Off winner Hussain, as well as Zoe Ball, TV cook Rosemary Shrager and Michelin star chef Giorgio Locatelli.

The Big Family Cooking Showdown
Nadiya Hussain (BBC)

The BBC said: “Channel 4’s decision to move Bake Off from its long-term traditional Wednesday slot will be a surprise to many viewers who may see this as a cynical move.

“We never intended for our new cookery show to clash with theirs. There is room for both and we don’t, in this instance, see any public value in two public service broadcasters going head to head in this way.

“We will therefore move our show to Thursday in the best interest of viewers to avoid such a clash.”

Giorgio Locatelli, Nadiya Hussain, Zoe Ball and Rosemary Shrager on The Big Family Cooking Showdown (BBC)

During its time on the BBC, Bake Off aired on a Wednesday evening.

Hollywood was the only member of Bake Off’s original line-up to move with the show and will be joined by co-judge Prue Leith and presenters Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding.

The Great British Bake Off
Paul Hollywood, Sandi Toksvig, Noel Fielding and Prue Leith (Love Productions/Channel 4)

Mary Berry, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins opted to leave the baking show last year when its production company Love Productions controversially sold the show to Channel 4 after seven series on the BBC.

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