Entertainment & Arts

The Great British Bake Off unveils new line-up

Prue Leith, Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig Image copyright PA/Getty
Image caption Leith, Fielding and Toksvig make up an "innovative" line-up according to Channel 4

Sandi Toksvig, food writer Prue Leith and comedian Noel Fielding will join Paul Hollywood when The Great British Bake Off returns in the autumn.

Channel 4 announced the show's new line-up ahead of its first series since leaving the BBC.

"I could not be more delighted by who will be joining me on the show," said Hollywood, the only holdover from the BBC's version.

Leith said she was "so thrilled to be joining... the biggest show on TV".

"I cannot wait to see what the real stars of the show - the bakers - are going to create for us," the restaurateur and novelist went on.

The 77-year-old had previously revealed she would "love" to take over from Mary Berry as a judge on the baking competition.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Paul Hollywood previously served as judge alongside Mary Berry

"It is an extraordinary honour to part of this national treasure of a show," said Toksvig, who will co-present the show with The Mighty Boosh's Fielding.

Fielding himself said Bake Off was "one of his favourite shows" and that landing the job was "a dream come true".

Channel 4's Jay Hunt said Leith and Hollywood had "huge amounts of expertise", while Toksvig and Fielding would bring "plenty of fun and warmth".

"It's just the sort of innovative line-up audiences expect from Channel 4," the channel's chief creative officer continued.

The BBC lost the contract to broadcast Bake Off last year after Love Productions, the makers of the show, signed a three-year deal with Channel 4.

Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, the programme's previous co-hosts, declined to follow it to its new home, while Berry said she was "never asked".

The show made its debut on BBC Two in 2010, moving to BBC One in 2014.

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Media captionTony Hall was questioned about losing Bake Off by young reporters

Earlier on Thursday, BBC director general Tony Hall admitted he was "very upset to lose the Bake Off".

"We'll just have to pick ourselves up, and we are doing, and coming up with new things too," he told young reporters taking part in this year's BBC News School Report.

The news has certainly divided opinion among fans on Twitter.

  • One Twitter user calling herself The Governess spoke for many people: "NOEL FIELDING??????"
  • Alex Cabre commented: "This is the best thing that could ever have happened."
  • Whereas Amie wrote: "Defo boycotting bake-off now."
  • Marcia D wrote: "Now that's a line-up I never saw coming... It seems like they're going for "make or break" #GBBO. Not sure which..."
  • Chris Down wrote: "From what I remember of her on Great British Menu, Prue Leith has the screen personality of a rather awkward GP receptionist."

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