With a wailing and distraught sobbing into their soggy bottoms, millions – yes, millions – were and probably still are furious with the BBC for losing The Great British Bake Off to Channel Four.

To be honest, I wondered at first whether most of them weren’t three baking sheets to the wind. They’d still get their blessed show, after all – albeit without Mel and Sue – so, what was the fuss for?

Sure, they’ll probably have to endure endless interruptions for Mr Kipling adverts but some sacrifices have to be made for true love and devotion, don’t they?

The furore probably has more to do with the way we feel about the Beeb. If only subliminally. The place it has in our lives is as a constant, a dependable, an untouchable. And now that it has been hit by a harsh commercial world, we find the body-blow offensive and painful.

The BBC, licence-funded and often criticised for its failings, is like a big, ever-present and frequently overbearing parent. We can knock it, kick-back against its ideas and behaviour… but woe betide anyone else who tries.

Well, everybody’s at it now. Kicking, I mean. The corporation has been told to reveal the salaries of its top stars to taxpayers who stump up their compulsory £145 a year. And what a palaver that has caused.

Does it matter that Gary Lineker is paid nearly £2 million a year to front Match Of The Day? It probably does actually. But what does that have to do with Bake Off?

Well, the Beeb bid £15m for the show and C4 beat the offer made to its independent producers by putting £25m on the kitchen table. As licence payers, we recognise that to be a saving able to secure Gary on-screen – with or without pants – for more than a month. Result, yes?

Anne Pickles Apparently not. See, we want it all. From soaps to souffles and sport; documentaries to drama; arts to local, national and international newsbreaks; politics and panel games – we demand the lot. On the cheap, with excellence, transparency, reliability and no pesky supermarket commercials.

There’s a lot wrong with the BBC. It can be accused of a skewed news agenda from time to time. It perhaps plays its own political games with governments of all stripes, keen to keep it onside. There’s no logical reason for it to engage in a meaningless ratings race with the likes of Strictly and yes, Bake Off.

But there is still a lot right with it too. Admired, respected and trusted the world over, it is the badge we wear that still says we can do at least something well. And, not to put too fine a point on it, we’d be in a proper pickle without it.

The BBC is under attack from all quarters and not all of the flak it takes is valid or justified. Allowing biscuit-making to shift to another channel is the least of its troubles. Losing the will and/or ability to create its own output, discover and nurture its own new talent – instead of shopping for off-the-shelf creativity on the open market – is more of a problem.

With a mission to inform, educate and entertain, it does a more than adequate job. Just look what The Archers has done to raise awareness of the widely overlooked issue of domestic violence and its harrowing consequences.

I’m a committed BBC fan and no, I don’t believe the licence fee is too high. I feel that, on the whole, I receive value for money – with assurance of scrutiny.

But isn’t it time for the BBC to back-pedal to its former glory days? Should it not call a halt on buying in ratings-race shows and make efforts to create its own… with or without Mel and Sue?