Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, the hosts of The Great British Bake-Off, have quit the show following Love Productions decision to leave the BBC over money and move to the advertising-supported station Channel 4.
In a statement, the GBBO hosts said,
“The BBC nurtured the show from its infancy and helped give it its distinctive warmth and charm, growing it from an audience of 2 million to nearly 15 [million] at its peak. We’ve had the most amazing time on Bake Off, and have loved seeing it rise and rise like a pair of yeasted Latvian baps. We’re not going with the dough. We wish all the future bakers every success.”
Yesterday, Sue retweeted the BBC’s version of the statement about the show’s exit, which said, in part,”We hope Love Productions change their mind so that Bake Off can stay ad free on BBC One.” The Telegraph reported that BBC offered £15 million, but Love Productions wanted £25 million.
It is also possible Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood will leave, too. The Guardian reports that, in June, Paul said, “we want to stay with the BBC. As far as Mary, Mel, Sue and myself, we want to stay with the BBC.”
Mel and Sue’s exit is devastating to the show. Their wit, charm, and playful interaction with the contestants and judges is a significant part of the show’s appeal. Their chemistry from years of working together is evident in every episode, but they’re also very comfortable in their interaction with the contestants—whether they’re supporting, tasting, helping, or occasionally hurting.
ABC’s version, which is returning this winter as The Great American Baking Show, was well-done, and its hosts did okay, but Mel and Sue’s absence was the most deeply felt difference.
Can The Great British Baking Show find replacements for them and continue to draw the same ratings and attention? Or will season seven be the end—or the beginning of the end—of the hit show?