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Europe whips up Bake Off adaptations

Broadcasters in four European countries have put their own versions of UK format The Great Bake Off in the oven after picking up rights from BBC Worldwide.

TV3 in Ireland, DR in Denmark, Sweden’s TV4 and VTM in Belgium have all acquired remake rights to the amateur baking competition show, created by UK indie Love Productions for BBC2.

The show debuted as The Great British Bake Off in August 2010 and a second series finished airing in November last year, scoring 4.6 million viewers for its finale episode and a 20% audience share.

TV3 is now lining up its own 8×60’ version, The Great Irish Bake Off, for broadcast this summer.

DR is producing 6×60’ series under the local title Den Store Bagedyst (The Great Baking Joust) for flagship net DR1.

TV4 will make a 10×60’ version of Sveriges Största Baktävling (Sweden’s Biggest Baking Contest) for broadcast on its channel Sjuan (fka TV4 Plus).

In Belgium, VTM is farthest ahead, also with a 10-hour adaptation, named Meester Bakker (Master Baker). It has tapped local prodco Kanakna to make it. This version will be the first of the four to air.

“There is a trend for baking at the moment but Bake Off has a very different feel,” Elin Thomas, BBCWW’s VP of format licensing for EMEA, told C21 at BBC Showcase in Liverpool. “It’s a very friendly competition but also at the same time it has a lot of drama. When the contestants kneel down in front of the oven and pray, they really mean it.”

Thomas added that discussions were underway in many other European territories over the format. The show will be on the slate the distributor will take to MipTV in Cannes next months. Other highlights included DIY SOS: The Big Build and Would You Rather?

Spin-off Bake Off shows, including one for the kids market and a celebrity version for BBC charity event Sport Relief, have already aired.

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