The Great British Bake Off is dead and everything is terrible. The show is abandoning the BBC for Channel Four following its seventh season, leading to the swift departure of beloved co-hosts Mel and Sue; now, judge Mary Berry has dropped the bomb that she too is leaving the show.
According to the BBC, 81-year-old Berry is sticking with the BBC out of “loyalty,” and says she’s “just sad for the audience who may not be ready for change.” Per reports from the British gossip mill, Berry turned down an offer of £7 million (around $9 million) from Channel 4.
Co-judge Paul Hollywood will follow the show to its new C4 home, despite the BBC’s attempts to persuade him otherwise (Hollywood was apparently offered a role on the network’s long-running series Top Gear if he’d stick with the company).
Hollywood confirmed his decision to stick with the show in a tweet, thanking Berry and saying he’ll miss her:
I'm staying in the tent with the bakers where I belong. I want to thank Mary. I'll miss her but she has made the right decision for her.— Paul Hollywood (@PaulHollywood) September 22, 2016
In an informal online poll conducted by the Telegraph, 85 percent of respondents have said they will no longer watch GBBO following Berry’s departure. The dynamic of Mel and Sue’s cheeky, sexual innuendo-laced commentary versus the judges’ tough love was a large part of what kept viewers tuning in week after week, and with three of the Bake Off’s four stars out, it’s hard to say what the new Channel 4 version will look like.
• Great British Bake Off: Mary Berry Leaves, Paul Hollywood Stays [BBC]
• Tracking Great British Bake Off Rumors: Mary and Paul Out, Jamie Oliver In? [E]
• Mel and Sue Leave the Great British Bake Off: What Does It All Mean? [E]
• What We Lose When We Lose Mel and Sue [E]