The current series of The Great British Bake Off will be the last one shown on the BBC, after talks with the production company to extend the contract broke down. Love Productions, who make the show, emailed the corporation to say it has been "unable to reach agreement on terms to renew the commission".

According to reports, the hugely popular show, which regularly receives 10 million viewers, could now be shown on Channel 4 as Love Productions are keen sign a deal with a free-to-air channel.

In an email to all staff, Love Productions said: "We are writing to let you all know that, with deep regret, after more than a year of exhaustive negotiations we have been unable to reach an agreement with the BBC for the renewal of The Great British Bake Off.

"We feel it is very important to let you all know as soon as possible because there has been a lot of inaccurate reporting in the media about the negotiations and we want you to be aware of the main facts.

"We are really saddened by this outcome because we always wanted to stay on the BBC. As recently as June we were convinced that was what would happen. This has never been about who might write the biggest cheque, but about where we can find the best home for Bake Off.

"Unfortunately we were unable to agree either a fair valuation, and nor were the BBC able to provide the necessary comfort for the future protection of such a distinctive and much-loved television series.

The company added: "After an extraordinary six-year journey with the BBC, Love Productions announces with regret that it has been unable to reach agreement on terms to renew the commission of The Great British Bake Off. We will now be focusing on finding a new partner to develop the familiar show that the British public turn to in their millions. Love Productions would like to thank the BBC for the role it played in making this show such an enormous hit, and the faith they showed in us over the years to develop it."

The BBC confirmed that the corporation and Love Productions were a "considerable distance apart" with regards to money during negotiations. A spokesperson added: "Working with Love productions, we have grown and nurtured the programme over seven series and created the huge hit it is today.

"We made a very strong offer to keep the show but we are a considerable distance apart on the money. The BBC's resources are not infinite. GBBO is a quintessentially BBC programme. We hope Love productions change their mind so that Bake Off can stay ad0free on BBC One."

The show, presented by Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkin with judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, is currently in its seventh series. The first episode of the latest series was watched by 7.5% of all television viewers, with a peak audience of 11.2 million.

The Great British Bake-Off 2016
The Great British Bake Off is one of the BBC's biggest shows BBC