In a statement issued late on Tuesday, the corporation said it would move as much as possible of the content currently on its BBC Food website over to the BBC Good Food site, which is owned by commercial arm BBC Worldwide.
“In response to the massive public reaction, we have decided to accelerate our plans to move our content,” said one source. “People won’t lose the recipes they love.”
During the day more than 120,000 people signed a petition calling for the BBC Food site to be maintained in its current form, while politicians and public figures expressed their outrage the BBC was culling a service used by many millions of licence-fee payers.
The plan to mothball the BBC Food site is part of a £15m cost-cutting plan that is also driven by the corporation’s attempts to make its services more distinctive as laid out in the white paper published by the government last week.
A huge public outcry, including a petition signed by more than 159,000 people, has provoked a climbdown at the BBC, which promised to keep many of its most popular recipes online less than 24 hours after announcing the closure of its food website.