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Sandi Toksvig announces Bake Off departure after three series

Sandi Toksvig is leaving the Bake Off tent (Ian West/PA)
Sandi Toksvig is leaving the Bake Off tent (Ian West/PA)

Sandi Toksvig is leaving The Great British Bake Off after three years as a presenter.

The 61-year-old said that she wants to leave the Bake Off tent to focus on other work projects.

Toksvig, who hosts the baking programme alongside Noel Fielding, 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.

The Great British Bake Off 2019
The Great British Bake Off’s Noel Fielding, Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith and Sandi Toksvig (C4/Love Productions)

“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.

“Bake Off is 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. I wish everyone well.”

Toksvig has fronted the programme alongside Fielding and judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith since 2017 after it moved to Channel 4 from BBC One.

Toksvig, Fielding and Leith joined the show when previous presenters Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, and judge Mary Berry, quit following the channel move.

Hollywood is the only original star of Bake Off, which started on BBC Two in 2010.

Ian Katz, director of programmes at Channel 4, said: “Sandi is a huge part of why Bake Off’s move to Channel 4 has been such a success and we are immensely grateful for her contribution to the show.

“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. Fortunately, her unique voice will continue to have an important presence on the channel with new shows in development – none of which involve cake.”

Toksvig will appear in the forthcoming charity series of Bake Off, The Great Stand Up To Cancer Bake Off, before departing the show for good.

Toksvig, also known for hosting quiz shows QI and Fifteen To One, will host a new Channel 4 series called The Write Offs, which looks at the issue of adult literacy.

Richard McKerrow, chief creative officer and executive producer for Bake Off’s production company Love Productions, said: “We’ll always be incredibly grateful to Sandi for becoming one of the hosts of Bake Off when we moved to Channel 4, along with Noel, Paul and Prue.

“She has contributed hugely to Bake Off over the last three years, with her sharp witty sense of humour and her passionate commitment to the dozens of bakers during her time in the tent.

“We wish her all the very best on the exciting projects she is currently working on and beyond.”

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