Viacom’s Channel 5 Raids BBC Again For The Hairy Bikers, As It Retreats From Entertainment
Viacom’s Channel 5 has raided the BBC again for on-screen talent — this time poaching the cooking duo known as the Hairy Bikers.
The Hairy Bikers make their way to Channel 5 for a chocolate-making competition in partnership with Nestlé, produced by Twofour and Motion Content Group.
Titled The Hairy Bikers Chocolate Challenge, the duo will preside over a group of chocolate enthusiasts competing to create and name their very own brand of confectionery at Nestlé factories in Yorkshire. The victor will get to put their twist on one of the world’s best-selling chocolate bars, which will then be sold across the UK.
Myers and King will be joined by Ruth Hinks, the UK World Chocolate Master, who will watch on as the contestants agonize over their creations. The Hairy Bikers have always worked with different production companies and their most recent project, BBC Two’s Hairy Bikers: Route 66, was made by Twofour.
The Hairy Bikers Chocolate Challenge is executive produced by Melanie Leach and Andrew MacKenzie, who left Twofour last month to set up South Shore. Melanie Darlaston is the executive producer for Motion Content Group, while Tara Jang is the series producer. It was commissioned by Channel 5’s factual commissioner Guy Davies.
The Hairy Bikers are the latest presenters to be lured over by Channel 5’s director of programs, Ben Frow. The Viacom executive has signed up the likes of MasterChef judge Gregg Wallace, wildlife presenter Chris Packham and train enthusiast Michael Portillo for Channel 5 shows — all of whom are traditionally associated with the BBC.
Frow proudly showcased some of these signings at a lavish upfronts event in London on Tuesday, with the likes of Wallace and Packham in attendance. Frow discussed upping the ambition at Channel 5, and boasted about changing perceptions of the brand, taking it upmarket, and giving the competition a “regular kick” when it comes to ratings.