BBC takes recipes off the menu, as food website is to close

TV show recipes will be posted online, but only for 30 days

BBC Food, closure, savings, recipes, British Bake Off, James Harding, White Paper

Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry,Chef Michel Roux, Jr and Janet Street-Porter (l to r) at the opening of the BBC Good Food Show in London | Image: Sean Dempsey / PA Archive/Press Association Images

Britain's BBC has confirmed its food website carrying more than 11,000 recipes is to close.

"All existing recipes are likely to be archived, though whether some could move to the commercial BBC Good Food website is still to be decided", the BBC says.

It says TV show recipes will be posted online, but will only be available for 30 days after publication.

James Harding, director of BBC News and Current Affairs, is expected to brief staff later on the future of online services and television channels.

The BBC Food Twitter account has almost 256,000 followers, which has a dedicated website within the BBC.

A petition to save the recipe archive has also been set up.

However the BBC Press Office has confirmed that if users know a URL for a recipe, they can still access it.

It is part of a plan to cut stg£15m (€19.1m) from the corporation's digital budget.

It was also announced that the BBC will be regulated by an external organisation for the first time.

British Culture Secretary John Whittingdale said the current system of regulating the BBC is "confusing and ineffective", adding that "reform is vital".

He told MPs the British government is "emphatically not saying the BBC should not be popular" - but would introduce a new requirement to provide "distinctive content" rather than just pursue ratings.

As part of the White Paper reforms, the pay of top stars who earn more than £450,000 (€569,000) will have to be disclosed, while the £145.50 (€183.80) licence fee will increase in line with inflation until 2022.

People watching BBC programmes on-demand online will have to obtain a TV licence, closing a loophole that costs the broadcaster an estimated £150m (around €190m) a year.

The corporation will also have a new unitary board, and the BBC Trust is to be abolished.