BBC faces backlash ahead of online recipe cull


The BBC and UK government are facing and online backlash after it was revealed the broadcaster is to delete 11,000 online recipes.


The move means that recipes by popular TV chefs such as Nigella Lawson, James Martin and Mary Berry will be removed from the BBC website.

A ‘Save BBC recipe archive’ petition has been signed by more than 170,000 people since the move was announced two days ago.

Although the 11,000 recipes will not be deleted, they will be archived or mothballed after the food site is closed.

The individual URLs of each recipe will remain live, but they will not be linked to from any other part of the BBC website.

Only recipes associated with TV shows will be maintained, and only for 30 days after the show is broadcast.

Hours after the news broke, a developer called Howard Yeend had set up a website called Auntie’s Recipes promising a searchable index of the BBC pages.

The closure is part of a slew of changes to the BBC’s online services, driven by the BBC’s attempts to save £15m and meet demands to make its online content more “distinctive”.

The BBC’s Good Food website and magazine, which is owned by BBC commercial arm Worldwide and printed by Immediate Media, will continue to include many recipes from popular shows.

Other publicly funded services facing the axe include the BBC’s Newsbeat website and app, aimed at 16- to 24-year-olds, which are being integrated into the corporation’s main news service.

The closure of the Newsbeat website could be controversial, given the BBC’s key role in providing content for children and young people which was praised by culture secretary John Whittingdale last week.

The local news index pages, travel section and the science-focused iWonder site, which was launched only two years ago, will also be axed.

Whittingdale, who last week unveiled wide-ranging plans including challenging the BBC to be more “distinctive” in a white paper on the corporation’s future, distanced himself from rising public outrage over the cuts, saying BBC chiefs make the decisions.

“It’s not my job to tell the BBC whether [or not] to broadcast The Voice, or Strictly Come Dancing or indeed to put recipes up on its website,” he said, speaking at radio industry body RadioCentre’s annual conference on Tuesday.

Here’s a sample of tweets showing the backlash to the plans:

View the petition here:

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