13/09/2016 00:01 BST | Updated 13/09/2017 06:12 BST

BBC Showstopper As The Great British Bake Off Moves To Channel 4 For More Dough

The Great British Bake Off is moving to Channel 4 after the BBC said it could not afford to keep the show.

Channel 4 has signed a three-year agreement with Love Productions, the producers of the popular baking programme.

Earlier, it was announced that the BBC had lost its contract to broadcast the show.

A BBC spokesperson said the corporation would love to have kept Bake Off but that they were "a considerable distance apart on the money".

They said in a statement: "Working with Love Productions, we have grown and nurtured the programme over seven series and created the huge hit it is today.

"We made a very strong offer to keep the show but we are a considerable distance apart on the money.

"The BBC's resources are not infinite.

"GBBO is a quintessentially BBC programme."

The statement, issued before the Channel 4 deal was announced, ended: "We hope Love Productions change their mind so that Bake Off can stay ad free on BBC One."

Under the new partnership the multi-award winning series will remain on free-to-air television.

The first Bake Off programme set to be broadcast on Channel 4 will be a celebrity version of the show in 2017, in aid of Stand Up To Cancer.

Channel 4 said they were "very proud" to be the new home for the series, which features judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.

Chief creative officer Jay Hunt said: "I'm delighted we have been able to partner with the hugely talented team at Love Productions to keep this much loved show on free-to-air television."

Richard McKerrow, Love Productions creative director said: "We believe we've found the perfect new home for Bake Off.

"It's a public service, free-to-air broadcaster for whom Love Productions have produced high quality and highly successful programmes for more than a decade.

"It's tremendously exciting to have found a broadcaster who we know will protect and nurture The Great British Bake Off for many years to come."

In an earlier statement Love Productions thanked the BBC for the role it played in making Bake Off such an hit, and "the faith they showed in us over the years to develop it".

The show began on BBC Two in 2010 before moving over to BBC One in 2014.

Last year's Bake Off final was the most-watched show of 2015, with 15.1 million people seeing Nadiya Hussain crowned champion.

The return of the show in August set an audience record, as 10.4 million people tuned in for the first episode of the seventh series.

The programme, currently airing on BBC1 on Wednesday evenings, is hosted by Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins.