Channel 4’s Bake Off risk has paid off

Image copyright Channel 4
Image caption The new line-up has wide appeal and good chemistry

Many fans feared that The Great British Bake Off might spoil when it went to Channel 4. So the success of this series must taste particularly sweet.

There were some funny moments at Jay Hunt and David Abraham’s leaving party at Channel 4 a few weeks ago.

The chief creative officer and chief executive had gathered journalists, colleagues, friends and programme makers for a boozy farewell.

Three members of boy band Blue turned up and sang. A video of tributes and thank yous featuring famous people associated with Channel 4 was played, to ringing applause. Then the stars of Bake Off turned up.

Paul Hollywood wasn’t there, but Prue Leith, Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding were. Leith said she’d never been paid so much to eat cake. Everything Toksvig said was funny.

Then Fielding produced the most memorable line of the evening, when he addressed the crowd and said (I paraphrase slightly): “Be honest, you thought we were gonna flop! Didn’t you?!”

Everyone laughed, because everyone knew he was right.

Image copyright Channel 4
Image caption Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding have formed an unlikely double act

The decision by Channel 4 to bid for Bake Off was widely interpreted in the industry as reckless, naive, hubristic – or some combination of all three.

Dozens of industry people I spoke to used the same line – without the “talent” (Sue Perkins, Mel Giedroyc and Mary Berry all declined to move across), Channel 4 had basically just paid for a tent. This was the conventional thinking.

Conventional thinking has a habit of being wrong. It also has a seductive appeal. It is absolutely true that Channel 4 was taking a huge punt in buying the show without three quarters of its stars. That is why the reward they are now getting must taste particularly good.

Ratings success

The numbers are, to those in Horseferry Road, where Channel 4 is still headquartered, the stuff of dreams.

TV viewing figures now come in at least two groups – mainly the overnights and consolidated. In overnights, the show is getting around six million viewers. In terms of consolidated reach – the number of people who see a particular episode over a seven-day period – this rises to 8.9 million.

Image copyright Channel 4
Image caption Stacey was eliminated in the semi-final

True, this is down from the 13 million the show reached on BBC One. But bearing in mind that BBC One generally gets the biggest audiences in the land, Channel 4 will be chuffed.

And especially because in the prized 16-34 demographic (those who apparently are running away from conventional TV), they are scoring 2.5 million viewers – or a whopping 54% of market share.

Fielding, Toksvig, Leith and Hollywood are earning their meringues – and Channel 4 appears to agree as all four are back for next year’s series.

Digital competition

As digital giants like Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook and Netflix move into television, conventional broadcasters like Channel 4 are having to fight much, much harder for eyeballs and advertising revenue.

That means they rely ever more heavily on superstar shows such as Bake Off, which bring in the revenues to fund other expensive programming that – in Channel 4 and the BBC’s case – meets a public service remit.

The irony, of course, is that Jay Hunt and David Abraham are off to new ventures just as Bake Off brings in the cash. The latter is probably going to set up his own company, but remains tight-lipped.

For Hunt, a former BBC and Channel 5 executive who missed out on the top job at Channel 4, and is now moving to Apple, this is in effect a parting gift to her colleagues.

Taking risks

Though Abraham was her superior, it was Hunt who was most closely associated with the Bake Off transfer, and who made the ultimate decision on the new line-up.

That line-up was carefully selected to combine an appeal to various demographics – Fielding brings a following from his Never Mind the Buzzcocks days; Toksvig is a Radio 4 giant; Leith has real pedigree in the world of food – with on-screen chemistry, which is undoubtedly there.

Their current success may not last, but it is worth bearing in mind that most shows take time to build an audience in a new place, as critics of former Fox anchor Megyn Kelly’s new show on NBC should remember.

And it is in the nature of Bake Off, which is a competition, that as it builds towards a thrilling finale, its ratings could rise. So the best may be yet to come.

I suspect that when she met Apple, Hunt will have pointed to the success of Bake Off as an indication of her eye for talent and preparedness to take creative risks that are later vindicated.

The show was never going to achieve the same audience it did on BBC One. For now, it looks a canny investment. But when the show is put out to tender again in a couple of years, might Channel 4 find itself bidding against Apple?

Related Topics

More From this publisher : HERE


  • Earn Extra Money Working Online At Home. Start Immediately
  • Welcome To The Next Generation Of Paid Survey Sites Some Affiliates Are Earning 1.60 per click
  • It will show you how to make money by investing in tax liens and tax deeds.
  • Learn how to get paid to drive your own brand new car.
  • Turn your spare time into cash with paid surveys.This book will help you earn cash.
  • 1 YouTube Secret makes you 594 a day. Click here for more details.
  • Make money from a digital camera and an internet connection.
  • Over 350 Companies Ready To Hire Take Online Surveys for Cash.
  • Discover how to build your list with 50 guaranteed leads daily and get paid to do it.
  • Clickbank Ads

    If you like our content help us with a share… or two …  

    Also -  I have some free stuff for you .......

    Nr 1. In This FREE Report you can Discover:

    Secrets to acquiring the freshest, hottest leads via YouTube In-Stream ads quickly and easily! Best secret tips for the most effective targeting for your ads! Totally legal, but little-known method for literally stealing traffic from your competitors! Get more traffic to your videos and landing pages without spending a fortune! And much more - all within this special FREE report!


    Nr 2. Did you know you can Absolutely EXPLODE YOUR EMAIL LIST FOR FREE with UNTOUCHED offline sources?


    Nr 3. The #1 secret to becoming an affiliate superstar - Earn your first $100 online – without a dime to invest.

    If you’re still looking to “make it online – I have just the thing for you. It’s a video series that shows how to make your first $100 online – even if you don’t have a dime to invest. Yes – nothing.  Free.  Nada. Is this possible? You bet. It’s the most powerful system used by those “in the know”. Good things don’t have to be difficult. And they don’t only come to those who wait. Have A Look


    Nr 4. Top 10 Email Marketing Mistakes. Which of these mistakes do you make?


    Nr 5.  You can learn about : The hottest social networking site that will send an unlimited stampede of traffic to your site - for FREE! How to quickly locate a swarm of hungry buyers using "information portals"! The fast and easy way to use simple images to siphon targeted traffic, on command! Learn how to get the most possible traffic from Instagram, and make sure that traffic converts! And much more ...


    Nr 6. It’s no secret… Facebook is an incredible place to get tons of free, viral traffic. But… most people are going about it all wrong.  How many of these mistakes are you making? Download the free report to find out.


    Nr 7.  Special free report .  It's called "Operation Midas Touch" and you can download it here...

    The report features a surefire method for generating at least $1000 per week online,without a website or product of your own!

    Nr 8.  Instagram is still one of the hottest ways to get a LOT of traffic fast. All by sharing images. Sounds easy enough, yeah? Well, yes and no. If you want to really start driving a lot of  traffic and making sales using Instagram then you should download this report.

    Nr 9.  When it comes to creating a product online there are so many ways to approach it. Wouldn’t it be great to just get the meat of it all so you can get started faster? Well, the good news is, today you can download a guide called the Product Creation Formula Quickstart Guide. It’s as the title suggests - a Quickstart guide. You’ll get a list of action steps to take right away. Download your copy today !

    Nr 10. Would you like to finally USE all of that dusty PLR you have sitting around on your harddrive? Or maybe find the resources for the best PLR available - at the best prices? What about how to use that PLR to make you money with just a few minutes of work. Well, you’re not going to want to miss this!

      Nr 11. Buzzfeed’s top post has more than 21 million views. Think about that for a sec… ONE of their articles has had over 21 million people who have read it! And they have thousands of articles... what would you do with that kind of traffic? A friend of mine hacked their method and was able to use it to get 11,592 targeted new subscribers in 2 weeks on their very first attempt!

    Nr 12. Push notifications are one of today's hottest trends in website traffic and conversions, and for good reason. Studies have shown that as many as 40% of people will opt-in for push notifications, which is about TEN TIMES the rate of people who opt-in for emails! That’s huge! Not only that, but they're also highly effective at pulling clicks, as well. Some studies have shown CTR at an average of around 40%, with highs of as much as 80%! Again, that’s huge!

    Nr 13. Would you like to know how to get more money from the exact same number of website visitors you’re currently getting? Even if you’re website is getting as few as 1-2 visitors a day, this report will show you how to increase your profits using these few handy hacks.

    Nr 14. People have now realised that it's not the size of the list which matters, it's the quality. ... and the only way to create a quality list is by launching your own products. Let it be $7 ebooks, $17 info products, $27 video training product or software's... all of these work. My good friend Kevin Fahey has is revealing how he's launched over 20 products in the past 4 years, many of them top sellers. Needless to say he's banked a handsome amount in this time.

    Nr 15. Do you ever feel that the man you like or even love, just doesn't see you or desire you in way you want him to? Or... maybe you're able to get a man's attention though not the right kind of attention? Or... maybe you're still single because you wait and wait for men to approach you first? What you may not know is that the way we flirt will either attract the "wrong" man for us or the "right" man.

    Nr 16. When it comes to getting sales and leads online, there is ONE thing that 95% of marketers use... it's called a LIST. My friend Jimmy just released a free book that explains WHY a list is important and how YOU can build your own list. It's available right here (and it won't cost you a penny)

    Nr 17. If you have tried everything, and still aren't able to get your Ex back, then you need to pay attention.

    Nr 18. What if I told you that you could make ANY woman WANT to do ANYTHING for you? Would you think I'm crazy? Well... what If I told you that you could also make her LOVE every minute of it and come back for more?


    Nr 19. I have a special free plugin for you today. It's called "Covert Hover Mini"

    This plugin will triple your blog traffic by compelling your visitors to share your images on social media. This is some really clever stuff and it works like a charm. After you grab your free plugin, don't  forget to read the free bonus report as it will show exactly how and why this strategy works like crazy.

    Nr 20. The days of being able to get away with a basic WP theme and a pic or two are gone, your site needs to look good. Even Google are looking for you to have engaging graphics on your site. But getting good quality graphics made for your site is a pain, AND it will cost you both time and money (if you outsource it). But I have a special free download for you today. A virtual treasure chest of over 21K profit pulling graphics you can start sing today to generate more traffic & sales!

    Nr 21. 20 professional full HD background videos. These background videos are perfect for giving your videos that extra kick they need to stand out from the crowd Oh yeah they are in full 1080p HD too, I hope you'll enjoy them.

    Nr 22. If you've ever failed to create a WordPress site of your own or typically waste hours & even weeks trying to figure it all out on your own....

    Nr 23. No doubt, you've seen all of the video launches lately! There is a reason for it... Video marketing is a GREAT way to make money, and with the recent creation tools making it super accessable for anyone to get started... It's no surprise that more people are making videos. However... there is a missing element to most video marketing products...

    Nr 24. For the first time ever... You can get the straight scoop on how someone is selling over $1,000,000/year of t-shirts on Facebook!

    Use them  .... and have fun !