The claims that Great British Bake Off judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood would be receiving generous pay rises have been denied. Reports claimed the professional bakers were set for £100,000 ($142,000) pay rises by 2017 due to the show's production company Love Productions enjoying an increase in profits. However, a rep for the BBC1 series has rubbished the claims.
The Sun reported that the salaries of Berry, 80, and Hollywood, 49, would increase to £600,000 as a result of the bonus, with a source telling the newspaper: "There's no doubt that they will have to pay more for it this time." However, a publicist for Love Productions told IBTimes UK: "The story is just speculative nonsense."
Love Productions, which produces GBBO and also Benefits Street, reportedly saw an increase in turnover from £15.3m to £22.9m. In 2014, Love Productions reportedly sold a 70% stake in its company to Sky for £24.5m. When GBBO moved home from BBC2 to BBC1 in 2014, the judges' salaries allegedly soared to £500,000.
Nadiya Hussain was crowned the winner and ultimate baker of series six, which wrapped up in October 2015 and the season finale was watched by 14.5 million viewers. The series, which is hosted by presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, triumphed at the recent National Television Awards, winning best challenge show.
GBBO will return on 27 January with The Great British Sport Relief Bake Off, which will see Samantha Cameron, wife of Prime Minister David Cameron, go up against comedian Jason Manford and Liverpool and England goalkeeper David James.
Speaking about Cameron's appearance in the charity edition of the series, Berry said on This Morning: "This time, Samantha Cameron is in the first one. It was very exciting seeing her, she was so modest. She did her very best, but she came in without any glam and she just worked hard. I remember the first thing she said: 'Oh I just wish it was my daughter Nancy here, because she's the one that does all the baking at home.'"
The Great British Sport Relief Bake Off airs at 8.30pm on BBC1.