ITV turned down the chance to buy the 'Great British Bake Off'.

Sue Perkins, Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry and Mel Giedroyc

Sue Perkins, Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry and Mel Giedroyc

The channel's boss Kevin Lygo was approached by Love Productions - the company that makes the show - when negotiations were in full swing last month but he snubbed the chance to put in an offer because there was no guarantee hosts Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc and judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood would move across with it.

Speaking to Broadcast magazine, the channel's director of television said: "You really are buying some sort of baking powder and a tent. I said, 'If you can't guarantee it [that the judges would sign up for the series], then no, it's not for us, thank you very much.' "

Once discussions between Love Productions and the BBC - which has screened the cooking series since 2010 - broke down four weeks ago, Channel 4 dived in with an offer worth an estimated £75 million and managed to snap it up with a three-year deal.

Kevin thinks Channel 4 have made a huge mistake taking over the well-loved series, especially now that Mel, Sue and Mary have quit out of "loyalty" to the BBC.

He explained: "It's just a really weird screw up. It will be studied by television sociologists in years to come, I suspect, about what the f**k went on with that show."

However, he doesn't think Channel 4 are totally to blame and believe the BBC should think long and hard about why they let the programme slip through their fingers.

He said: "The BBC should think why did they lose it really. They should ask themselves that pretty closely."

'GBBO' will shift across to Channel 4 later this year but the future of it is currently up in the air as the broadcaster is on the hunt for another judge to work alongside Paul.

The 50-year-old silver fox agreed to move with the programme after Channel 4 reportedly slapped down a three-year mega-money deal.

He said recently: "Since I was a kid, baking has been part of my life. The seven series inside the tent have created some great memories.

"Best of all, I have felt so pleased to experience other people getting the baking bug, just as I did when my dad helped me make my first loaf."