Prue Leith hopes to “stick with” ‘The Great British Bake Off’ amid reports it has been hit with money woes.
The 83-year-old judges the Channel 4 cookery show every autumn alongside baker Paul Hollywood, 57, and it’s been reported the popular series may be forced to move to Netflix due to Channel 4’s apparent cash issues.
Prue told the Daily Mirror about her future on the programme: “Oh my God, I hope to stick with ‘Bake Off’ wherever it goes. But I don’t think it will move.
“I know a lot of people are having a hard time of it and Channel 4 has lost a lot of shows.
“But I am quite sure while Channel 4 is there, they will hang on to ‘Bake Off’.
“It is certainly one of their best shows. I think it has found its natural home at Channel 4.”
The channel ditched several shows in 2023, reportedly to keep costs under control, and it’s rumoured ‘Bake Off’ could be next for the axe.
The broadcaster's contract to air the baking contest reportedly ends after the 2024 series, and it has been claimed there have not yet been talks to extend it.
Channel 4 is also allegedly planning to cut up to 200 jobs following a huge decline in television advertising.
The reports have sparked speculation the cuts could make ‘Bake Off’ prime for poaching by streaming giants such as Netflix.
An insider told The Sun about the supposed conundrum facing Channel 4 executives over the series: “Bosses have a dilemma – break the bank to keep ‘Bake Off’, or lose it to a rival.
“It’s no secret that Channel 4 is facing cash problems so do they really have the money to secure another deal?
“They've been making cutbacks and this could well be to fund a new deal.
“But if they can’t match the pay demands, there’s not much they can do, and that opens the door for rivals like ITV and Netflix to swoop in, the fact is, this year is crunch time for the future of the ‘Bake Off’.”
‘Bake Off’, which is also presented by comic Noel Fielding, 50, and Alison Hammond, 48, launched on the BBC in 2010 but was bought by Channel 4 in 2016 for £25 million.
Netflix currently has the rights to air ‘Bake Off’ in the US.
Channel 4 said: “Any speculation around contracts is just that and we look forward to bringing many more soggy bottoms to our viewers in future.”