Channel 4 has confirmed two new hosts for The Great British Bake Off, The Guardian reports. Comedians Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig OBE (an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for her services to broadcasting) will fill in for Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, who announced in September that they would not be joining the show when it moved from the BBC. Channel 4 has also confirmed that restaurateur and food writer Prue Leith will take over for beloved Bake Off judge Mary Berry, who chose to remain loyal to the BBC. In a statement, Channel 4 chief creative officer Jay Hunt said:
The Great British Bake Off will have a uniquely Channel 4 take when it airs this autumn. Paul and Prue have huge amounts of expertise and warmth. I’m looking forward to seeing them putting our great new bunch of amateur bakers through their paces. Sandi and Noel bring a fresh wit and quirkiness to the tent. It’s just the sort of innovative lineup audiences expect from Channel 4.
Fielding is best known as a member of the Mighty Boosh, a comedy troupe that performed on stage, TV, and radio through 2013. Fielding also directed and starred in Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, a show that Channel 4 describes as a “psychedelic character-based comedy show half filmed and half animated.”
Toksvig, meanwhile, will bring a fair amount of hosting experience with her as she shepherds amateur bakers through each week of challenges — she previously hosted the BBC quiz show QI and The News Quiz Show on BBC Radio 4.
The sometimes groan-inducing, pun-filled interludes Mel and Sue offered became a defining characteristic of the original Great British Bake Off, and it’s probably safe to say that Fielding and Toksvig’s “fresh wit and quirkiness” will be a departure from that particular brand of kook. When the new season airs later this year, male judge Paul Hollywood will be the only familiar face in the Bake Off tent, a decidedly meager consolation.
• Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig to host new Great British Bake Off [The Guardian]
• Baking News: Channel 4 announces The Great British Bake Off lineup [Channel 4]
• RIP Great British Bake Off: Mary Berry Is Out [E]