The BBC faced an online backlash on Tuesday 17 May, as they announced plans to close the recipes section of the BBC Food website as part of a bid to save £15million.
The plans, announced by head of BBC news and current affairs James Harding, were swiftly followed by an online petition to save the site on Change.org, which now has over 190,000 signatures.
A statement on the petition’s, founded by user Emma B, said: “This is a much loved and used website and a precious resource for people across the country providing easy, free and importantly independent information on a vast range of foods and recipe options.
“The database provides inspiration for those with a few ingredients to come up with meal ideas and cook from scratch.”
She was joined by several luminaries who signed the petition, including comedian Andy Parsons and former Deputy Prime Minister Prescott who tweeted their support.
Writer Graham Lineham, known for penning Father Ted, tweeted: “Please sign this. Those recipes are yours, you paid for them with your license fee. They have been stolen”.
Existing recipes on the site are planned to be archived but will no longer appear as active links, and the commercial side of the food website, BBC Good Food, will remain active.
The British Library announced on Tuesday 17 May that they would archive the website, along with reports of similar projects from the Library of Alexandria and the National Library of Iceland.
Polly Russell, British Library Curator and Food Historian, spoke of the importance of the website in a practical capacity and as ‘a rich resource for researchers’ in history, sociology and anthropology.
She said: “So while it’s sad news to hear about plans to close the much trusted and well-loved BBC Food website, it’s a relief that the British Library is going to be able to archive the website for posterity”.