It’s official: Matt Lucas will not return to his hosting slot on The Great British Bake Off and will leave the treat tasting to a new heir. Lucas has hosted the charming competition series for its past three seasons alongside co-host Noel Fielding and judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith.
“After three series and 51 episodes, I am cheerfully passing the baguette on to someone else,” Lucas shares in a statement posted to his social media on Tuesday. “I would like to give my warmest thanks and gratitude to everyone at Love Productions and Channel 4 and to Noelipops, Paul, Dame Prue, the crew and, of course, the wonderful bakers for welcoming me into the tent. I wish whoever takes over all the very best and I can’t wait to tune into the next series without already knowing who won!”
Lucas cites mounting conflicts, including filming for his Sky series Fantasy Football League, as the reason behind his departure. “It’s been a delicious experience, and I can’t imagine a more fun way of spending my summers, but it’s become clear to me that I can’t present both Fantasy Football League and Bake Off alongside all my other projects,” he explains.
Although Lucas seems to look back on his GBBO tenure with fondness and pride, many fans of the series took issue with his presence on the show, pointing out that Lucas’ humor could lean bothersome and culturally insensitive. In 2020, Lucas also found himself in hot water after both Netflix and the BBC pulled his series Little Britain and Come Fly With Me over Lucas and co-star David Walliams’ use of blackface. Lucas and Walliams apologized in the aftermath.
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Despite the controversy surrounding Lucas, there don’t appear to be any hard feelings between him and GBBO, as a statement shared to Twitter from the series’ official account indicates. “We’ve loved having Matt Lucas brighten up our Tent for the last three years, especially when laughter and smiles were so much in need,” the tweet reads. “We appreciate everything he’s done for Bake Off, from working in covid bubbles to supporting the bakers.”