For an hour a week it kept fans glued to their sofas waiting to see if their favourite bakers had risen to the challenge.
But after making its big-money move over to Channel 4, the show’s bosses have decided to increase its running time to 75 minutes to maximise the profit it can make from advert breaks.
Channel 4 made the decision to ‘ensure that fans have all the Bake Off they want’ and ‘don’t miss out’ of any of their favourite show.
The new series of the Great British Bake Off will be hosted by Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding and judged by Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith – and be 15 minutes longer
Bosses at Channel 4 have reportedly invited 350 advertising executives to bid for sponsorship of its new flagship show.
Starting prices are thought to be around £8million, as Channel 4 looks to make around £25million a year from the programme.
If the channel enters a bidding war, it could see sponsorship of GBBO top the previous record of £10million paid by TalkTalk to sponsor ITV’s X-Factor.
GBBO, which was first broadcast on BBC Two, before later moving to BBC One typically ran for an hour on both channels during its first seven series.
But the show’s new host has said that it extended the programme’s running time to make way for commercial breaks.
In a major blow for fans, presenters Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc and veteran judge Merry Berry announced that they were leaving the show following its move to Channel 4.
And much speculation still exists on how it will cope in the autumn when it is released in its new format, with Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith judging the cakes, and with Sandi Toksvig and the controversial Noel Fielding presenting the programme.
Channel 4 has reportedly paid £75million for a three-year deal starting in 2018.
Channel 4 is putting the show in a 75 minute slot so that the format won’t change, but there will be adverts
The vast sum prompted ITV’s director of television Kevin Lygo to say Channel 4 had paid for ‘baking powder and a tent’ by failing to secure the star line-up from the BBC version of the show.
A spokesperson for Channel 4 said: ‘We have always promised viewers that they would not be short-changed on the show, even though we are an ad-funded channel.
‘The programme will run for 75 minutes to allow that.’
Yesterday Channel 4 also announced that comedian Jo Brand will join the next series of The Great British Bake Off with her spin-off programme, The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice.
Brand will welcome a fresh host of celebrity guests to discuss the show’s latest episodes, as well as each contestant to leave the tent as the competition progresses.
She said: ‘As a completely mediocre baker myself, but lover of all things spongey and tarty, I am really looking forward to another Extra Slice and all the fun and frolics that brings.’
Channel 4 also revealed last night that Paul Hollywood was to launch another show lifting the lid on his life before Bake Off.
Hollywood will take viewers on a baking journey where he will share tips and advice he has picked up from his father and grandfather throughout his child.
He will cook up a menu of new treats as he talks about the kitchens, chefs and recipes that changed his life.
The five-part Channel 4 series will be produced by Love Productions, the creators behind Bake Off.
Head of factual entertainment, Kelly Webb-Lamb, who commissioned the show, said: ‘The new series will feature Paul’s irresistible recipes and offer insight into the man from Merseyside whose baps and bloomers have made headlines.
‘Love and Paul are already a tasty combination but we are delighted to be able to give the audience a fresh insight into Paul’s life before Bake Off, and how he became the brilliant judge he is today.’