AROUND 11,000 recipes are to be removed from the BBC’s website as the broadcaster reviews its online presence, cutting back on “magazine-style” content in a move they claim will save almost €20 million per year.
Recipes from TV programmes will be available for 30 days post-transmission, before being “archived or mothballed”, while existing recipes will “fall of the face of the internet” with no links or other means of access once the food site is shut down.
The plans will not affect commercial services such as BBC Good Food, as the corporation responds to comments made by Chancellor George Osborne in 2015, when he suggested that the BBC was “imperial in its ambitions” by featuring recipes and other such content.
A BBC insider said: “While our audiences expect us to be online, we have never sought to be all things to all people and the changes being announced will ensure that we are not.
“These changes won’t be popular with all members of the public, but we think they are the right thing to do.”
Chef and anti-poverty campaigner Jack Monroe has already expressed her feelings, writing: “I learned to cook on the dole using free recipes online and for the BBC to reduce this vital service is an abomination.”
Thousands of home cooks use the BBC recipe service every day, and some fans have set up an online petition which has attracted more than 7,000 signatures in just a few days, while many have taken to social media to blast the move.
The announcement follows the recent publication of a White Paper on the Beeb’s future, setting out a plan which includes preservation of the license fee.