January 16, 2020
The presenter will leave the hit show after three years to focus on other projects, including a spelling bee series for Channel 4
Sandi Toksvig quits as Great British Bake Off co-host
Sandi Toksvig is to leave the hit Channel 4 series The Great British Bake Off. The 61-year-old broadcaster is exiting the show after three years to “focus on other work projects”, according to the channel. Toksvig – who joined Bake Off in 2017 alongside comic Noel Fielding – also presents the BBC quiz show QI, and previously hosted The News Quiz on Radio 4. She has also written novels and plays, founded the Women’s Equality Party in 2015, and will host a forthcoming series for Channel 4, The Write Offs, in which illiterate adults take part in a spelling bee. In a statement, Danish-born Toksvig celebrated her time on the baking show, joking that it was all-consuming “as my waistline will testify”. She described working with Fielding and judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood as “one of the great pleasures of my life … these are friendships which I know will continue beyond the confines of television” and added that Bake Off was a “wonderful programme which has already proved it can happily withstand a change of hosting personnel. The reason for that, of course, is that the true stars of the show are the bakers themselves.”
Bake Off was hosted by comedians Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins between 2010 and 2016, when it was broadcast on the BBC, first on BBC Two and later, as its popularity surged, on BBC One. It moved to Channel 4 in a £75m deal, after the BBC refused to pay programme-makers Love Productions £25m a year to keep the show. Toksvig had been a “huge part of why Bake Off’s move to Channel 4 has been such a success”, says Channel 4’s director of programmes, Ian Katz. “We will miss her warmth and wit, not to mention her endless willingness to be the butt of jokes about being the least tall person in the Bake Off tent.” Katz said Toksvig would continue to have an “important presence on the channel with new shows in development – none of which involve cake”.In an Instagram post, Paul Hollywood said Toksvig had “done an amazing job in the tent” and was “much loved by all who met her”. In a separate post, Leith described her as “a brilliant host and enormous fun”.
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