Two weeks after Channel 4 s £75m grab of Great British Bake Off from the BBC, the broadcaster has a big marquee but no filling.
Mary Berry has joined puckish Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc in electing to stay with the BBC, meaning three quarters of GBBO s presenting line up evaporated.
It was Berry who mitigated the unvarnished Paul Hollywood but she was no soft option.
Instead she is Great Britain s archetypal nanny, a schoolmarmish teacher or matron.
Berry was a quintessential British authority figure that we seem to respond to so well in GB: expert, a bit standoffish – even when joking – and correcting you when you d gone wrong but doing it ever so politely and with the deftest of touches.
But GBBO wasn t a serious cooking program, otherwise why would it have a peak audience of 13 million?