BBC denies its new cooking show is to rival Bake Off

Ian Sandwell
Photo credit: BBC / PA Images

From Digital Spy

The Big Family Cooking Showdown is not meant as BBC's rival to The Great British Bake Off, apparently.

BBC2's new show will be hosted by Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain and Zoe Ball and, while it was announced after Bake Off was poached by Channel 4, it was in the works before that move.

"You can't commission shows thinking, 'Oh that's going to be a massive hit'," BBC2's new controller Patrick Holland told PA. "It was commissioned before Bake Off went to Channel 4. It was one of the first things I did."

Photo credit: BBC

The Big Family Cooking Showdown features 16 families from around the UK against each other with challenges set in their kitchens at home and at the programme's studio. It will be judged by Giorgio Locatelli and Rosemary Shrager.

And while it's not meant as a direct rival to Bake Off, Holland wouldn't rule out BBC2's new cooking show being scheduled against it.

"Scheduling decisions are made closer to the time. Bake Off is not part of my thinking or the scheduling team's thinking. You want to play something to get the best audience. There's no sense of one particular show dominating our thinking," he explained.

Photo credit: Channel 4

Holland has also insisted that The Big Family Cooking Showdown is very different to Bake Off as it focuses on "celebrating family food and the role that food plays in people's lives".

"It felt like something very, very different. It's a completely different tone for the channel, different to any cooking shows we've done on the channel," he noted.

The Big Family Cooking Showdown is set to air in autumn this year.

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