Entertainment & Arts

Jay Hunt, who bought rights to Bake Off from BBC, resigns from C4

Jay Hunt Image copyright Adam Lawrence/Channel 4
Image caption Jay Hunt joined Channel 4 in 2011

The woman who helped Channel 4 buy Great British Bake Off is leaving the broadcaster after more than six years.

Jay Hunt, who leaves her post in September, said it had been a "thrilling time to be at the helm" as chief creative officer.

Hunt, 50, had said that the purchase of Bake Off from Love Productions was to save it for the nation.

She had been named as a favourite to take over from C4 chief executive David Abraham, who is stepping down.

A decision on his successor is expected to be announced within days.

'Business as usual'

Hunt became the channel's chief creative officer in 2011, having previously been BBC One controller.

As well as buying Bake Off, which was broadcast originally BBC Two and then BBC One, she bought the UK rights to The Handmaid's Tale, which first aired last weekend and was met by critical acclaim.

She said she was looking forward to "an exciting summer of sport" and "the richest autumn schedule we've ever had, with big shows from the Great British Bake Off to Electric Dreams", promising it would be "business as usual" until she leaves.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Bake Off's new line-up: Paul Hollywood, Sandi Toksvig, Noel Fielding and Prue Leith

In a statement, she said: "I've loved being at Channel 4 and am incredibly proud of how far we have come creatively. From the multiple channel of the year awards to the raft of global hits, we've had real success.

"I've been lucky to have a superlative boss in David Abraham and to have been supported by the best commissioning team in the business. I also owe a huge thank you to the brilliant producers, directors, writers and on-screen talent who've made it such a thrilling time to be at the helm."

Abraham said: "Jay took on one of the biggest challenges in broadcasting back in 2011 and through immense creativity, courage and determination has delivered magnificently."

Charles Gurassa, chair of the channel, said Hunt had "made an outstanding and unique contribution to Channel 4" and that he wished her "every success in her next venture".

The government is looking at plans that could see Channel 4 move out of London, as Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said this could better serve the country.


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