Many Great British Bake Off fans are kind of worried, to put it mildly, about the show's move to Channel 4. When the first photo of the new-look presenting team was released, some of the reactions were pretty salty. But thankfully, the latest piece of news about the once-beloved cookery contest sounds pretty encouraging. According to The Guardian, Channel 4 will not be offering potential advisers the opportunity to pay for product placement on the new series.
This means we won't be seeing contestants using branded ingredients like Tate & Lyle sugar, or "name" kitchen utensils like Le Creuset saucepans. "The choices made by the bakers and the judgments given by the judges are at the core of the show and need to be free from outside influence," a source close to the show's makers, Love Productions, told The Guardian. "The integrity of Bake Off is sacrosanct to Love. Bake Off has always been made with documentary sensibilities, so the notion of product placement is not a natural one."
Obviously the show is still going to feel more "commercial" when it returns: the competition will be carved up by ad breaks, and Channel 4 is understood to be looking for a "headline sponsor" along the lines of Superdrug's deal with Love Island. But fans should feel relieved that Channel 4 doesn't seem to be intent on making money from the show at any cost. After all, The Great British Bake Off has at its heart an unassuming charm that would be spoiled if it became too monetised. So now we just need to get our heads round the idea that Mary Berry won't be gracing the tent with her presence when the show returns in the autumn. And there won't be any more terrible (amazing) puns from Mel and Sue, either.