The BBC and Channel 4 have had a HUGE row about The Great British Bake Off

Rival broadcasters came face-to-face publicly for first time after show's bombshell move

bake off

The BBC had a public war of words with Channel 4 today over The Great British Bake Off's move to its rival broadcaster.

The world is still reeling from Bake Off's shock move to C4 after seven years at the BBC - which saw it grow from a niche cookery contest to the UK's highest-rating show, attracting up to 15million viewers.

Today chiefs from both networks came face-to-face in public for the first time since the news was announced two weeks ago, and ended up having a tense argument.

Speaking at a Royal Television Society conference, the BBC's Director of Strategy, James Purnell, argued that C4 should now face slightly tighter regulations.

"We feel Channel 4 should clearly be less regulated, because they're not taking public money, but I think there's now a question to look at about whether the balance is right," he commented.

He also claimed that C4 has compromised its 'Born Risky' ethos, saying: "I think there's real questions about whether Bake Off qualifies for that, and I think you have given ammunition to people who want to privatise Channel 4."

However, C4's Chief Creative Officer, Jay Hunt, reiterated that it needs profitable shows in order to fund less commercial programming - and pointed out that it was Bake Off's maker, Love Productions, that chose to leave the BBC.

"Channel 4 has existed from the very beginning by operating a very effective cross-subsidy model. Bake Off will be part of that strategy," she said.

"I understand how painful it is to lose franchises, but let's be utterly clear, this is an independent producer who after three years of an increasingly dysfunctional relationship decided they would no longer make the show for you.

"If I was at the BBC, I would be thinking long and hard about how that situation had arisen."

It was recently reported that Love's partnership with the BBC became strained when it accused the corporation of ripping off Bake Off's format for two of its own productions, Hair and The Great Painting Challenge.

Last week, Paul Hollywood confirmed that he will remain as a judge - but Mary Berry and presenters Mel and Sue have all quit.

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