Nadiya Hussain and Zoe Ball to front BBC Bake Off rival
- Bang Showbiz
- 3 March 2017
Nadiya Hussain and Zoe Ball are to front 'The Big Family Cooking Showdown', a cooking competition to rival 'Great British Bake Off', for the BBC
Nadiya Hussain and Zoe Ball will front a 'Great British Bake Off' rival show for the BBC.
The 32-year-old baker - who became a household name after winning the popular contest in 2015 - will team up with the 46-year-old presenter to front 'The Big Family Cooking Showdown'.
The new BBC2 show will hit screens in the autumn, meaning it will go directly up against 'Bake Off', which has moved to Channel 4 with judge Paul Hollywood the only star still appearing on the programme.
A source said: "The gloves are off. This is going to be a proper battle.
"The Beeb is not going to be beaten by a show they grew from the ground and made into a juggernaut.
"Using Nadiya as the face of what they see as their new smash hit is nothing short of inflammatory.
"There's no doubt from anyone associated with Bake Off that this is the BBC's new prime-time cookery show and it's intending to go toe-to-toe with Paul Hollywood and Co."
The programme will see chefs Rosemary Shrager, 66, and 63-year-old Giorgio Locatelli set challenges to find Britain's best amateur home cook and Nadiya hopes her previous experience on 'Bake Off' will be reassuring for the contestants.
She said: "I know how tough it can get, so I'll be there for them, alongside Zoe, as the pressure builds."
The decision to launch a rival programme comes after new BBC Chairman David Clementi said he thought it would be wrong to produce a "copycat" version of 'Bake Off'.
Asked if he would disapprove of a copycat rival, he said: "Yes, if it was precisely similar, but I don't think that's intended."
Meanwhile, when 'Great British Bake Off' returns to TV screens, Paul is expected to be joined by Prue Leith on the judging panel following the departure of Mary Berry, but replacements for hosts Mel & Sue have yet to be announced.