Great British Bake Off co-host quits

Josh Peachey's picture
by Josh Peachey

Sandi Toksvig is to leave the Great British Bake Off - one of Channel 4's most popular shows - to focus on other projects.

Sandi joined Bake Off in 2017 with Neil Fielding to take over the presenting role from Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, who presented the show between 2010 and 2016, when it was broadcast on the BBC.

She said: “When stepping down from a job it is quite common for people to say they are doing so in order to spend more time with their family. Unusually I am departing from the Great British Bake Off so I can spend more time with my other work.

"As my waistline will testify, Bake Off is an all-consuming show. Spending time with Prue, Paul and Noel has been one of the great pleasures of my life. These are friendships which I know will continue beyond the confines of television."

The show famously moved to Channel 4 in a £75m deal after the BBC refused to pay London-based Love Productions £25m a year to hold on to the show. 

Toksvig is also the founder of the Women's Equality Party in 2015, has written novels and plays, and will host an upcoming series for Channel 4, The Write Offs, in which illiterate adults take part in a spelling bee.

Channel 4’s director of programmes, Ian Katz, said: "Toksvig has been a huge part of why Bake Off’s move to Channel 4 has been such a success.

"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.”

6.9 million viewers tuned in to the last series finale, compared to 7.3 million for the first series on Channel 4 and 14.5 million for the 2015 BBC series, which was won by Nadiya Hussain