The new series of The Great British Bake Off will broadcast in 75-minute episodes when it returns this year, Channel 4 has said.

The channel, which last year acquired the much-loved cooking contest, said it had extended the programme’s running time to make way for commercial breaks.

Each episode typically ran for one hour when broadcast by BBC Two, and then BBC One, for the first seven series.

Channel 4 promises viewers won't be short-changed on the drama.
Channel 4 promises viewers won’t be short-changed on the drama (Mark Bourdillon/BBC/PA)

A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: “We have always promised viewers that they would not be short-changed on the show, even though we are an ad-funded channel.

“The programme will run for 75 minutes to allow that.”

The Great British Bake Off will return to screens in autumn with judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith, and presenters Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding at the helm.