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'Great British Bake Off' serves up global hit for BBC

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Finland and the Netherlands have become the latest countries to get on board with The Great British Bake Off, as BBC Two's surprise hit show turns into a global money-spinner.

Local versions of the competitive baking programme will be produced for Finnish and Dutch viewers, after BBC Worldwide - the corporation's commercial division - agreed licensing deals with MAX in Holland and MTV3 in Finland.

The Great British Bake Off embargoed until 14/09/12

© BBC



This means that The Great British Bake Off has now been licensed in 11 countries other than the UK, including the US (CBS), France (M6), Australia (Nine Network), Ireland (TV3) and Poland (TLC).

The Great British Bake Off will be known as Heel Holland Bakt (The Whole of Holland is Baking) in the Netherlands and launch in June. The local name for the Finnish version by MTV3 has not yet been announced.

Alongside licensing the format, both MAX and MTV3 have acquired the UK version of Great British Bake Off for their viewers.

BBC Worldwide's vice president of format licensing EMEA, Elin Thomas, said that each international broadcaster has put their own "twist" on the baking show format.

"We've seen broadcasters around the world put their own special twist on the format to great success, for example with the speciality cakes that are associated with different countries," she said.

"Baking is a tradition everyone can relate to so I have no doubt this brilliant format will only continue to win more fans around the world."

Le Meilleur Patissier aka the French Great British Bake Off
Den Store Bagedyst aka the Dannish Great British Bake Off


MAX chief executive Jan Slagter said that he was "very proud" to bring the series to the Netherlands, where there is a long tradition of baking.

"We have a rich baking tradition; from Fries Suikerbrood (fries sugar bread) to Brabantse worstenbroodjes (Brabantse sausage rolls). We want to inspire our viewers, so that the whole country will start baking," he said.

MTV3 head of formats Pete Paavolainen said that The Great British Bake Off is "probably the hottest lifestyle format in the world right now".

"We've been following closely when it has triumphed in other Nordic countries," he continued. "Now it´s our time to also make it a great hit here in Finland."

The Swedish Bake Off, called Hela Sverige Bakar (All Sweden Bakes), launched on TV4's Sjuan with a 27.3% market share of adult viewers (12-59) and became the highest-ever-rated show on the channel.

Hela Sverige Bakar aka the Swedish Great British Bake Off

© TV4



Den Store Bagedyst (The Great Baking Joust) in Denmark is the most successful new format ever to premiere on Danish TV, and the French Bake Off (Le Meilleur Patissier, or The Best Pastry Chef), attracted 3.5m viewers for the final.

Made by UK indie Love Productions, The Great British Bake Off has also proved a huge success on British television, with the final of the third series peaking with 7.2m viewers last year, making it the highest-rated BBC Two show outside of Top Gear over the past six years.

The show - presented by comedy duo Mel and Sue - won 'Best Reality & Factual Entertainment' at the Rose D'or TV awards 2012, and scooped the 'Features' award at the BAFTAs 2012.

However, the programme has not been without controversy. In September 2012, the BBC sanctioned Love Productions for featuring Smeg fridges too heavily on the show in the UK.

After a viewer wrote to the Radio Times complaining of "blatant product promotion" of the fridges, the BBC found that Love's loan agreement with Smeg did not meet its editorial guidelines.

The deal was therefore re-written for the third series and Love had to pay retrospective hire payments for the loaned fridges. The BBC also asked Smeg to take down promotional messages on its website linking the fridges with The Great British Bake Off.

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