After three seasons, 51 episodes, and a whole lot of viewer anguish, Great British Baking Show co-host Matt Lucas is leaving the tent for good. I personally could not be more thrilled, and it seems like just about everyone else on the internet feels exactly the same way.
Lucas announced his departure from the series in a tweet on Tuesday, saying that he simply couldn’t juggle his other commitments, including an appearance in the upcoming reboot of British TV show Fantasy Football League, and his Bake Off hosting duties at the same time.
Throughout the run of the most recent season, Bake Off fans wrote numerous blogs and Reddit threads demanding Lucas’s departure from the show, complaining about Lucas’s doofy antics and occasionally racist jokes, not to mention his awkward interactions with the show’s endlessly charming contestants. There was even a Change.org petition urging the BBC to fire Lucas, though it garnered less than 500 signatures, largely because most people infuriated with his presence chose to express their outrage in a much more 2022 way: bitching about him and his jokes, and pointing out his prior history of performing in blackface on Twitter. Put simply, Lucas was just not a good fit for the homey, welcoming vibe of Bake Off. (Note: the show is called the Great British Baking Show in the United States due to a trademark issue.) This tweet neatly sums up the backlash: “I absolutely hate Matt Lucas,” wrote one user. “There are a lot of problems with the show right now, and he is the worst part.”
And to be clear, Bake Off might well be in trouble even without Lucas’s off-putting cheesiness and occasionally lechy jokes. The show’s challenges have gotten a bit repetitive 13 seasons in, and watching the judges demand immaculate bakes in increasingly short periods of time has been maddening for viewers. To some it seemed the Bake Off producers were straying away from the cozy formula that turned the show into a phenomenon. But the Bake Off audience doesn’t want drama or schtick, we just want to see kind, quirky people baking beautiful and tasty treats.
So now that Lucas is out, speculation is already rampant as to who will join the relentlessly delightful Noel Fielding as the show’s new co-host. As such, I’ve made a list of five Brits who would fit the bill:
- Sandi Toksvig — Toksvig insisted that she was over Bake Off after she left in 2017, but I’m still very sad about her departure. Sandi was the best.
- Harry Styles — This show could really use some star power, and there’s no bigger star in the world right now than Harry Styles.
- David Beckham — Who among us wouldn’t watch a Bake Off co-hosted by this legendarily handsome soccer star????
- Nadiya Hussein — A former Bake Off contestant who’s hosted her own cooking show, Hussein has a soothing presence, knows the game well, and would know how best to bug the contestants without throwing them off their bakes.
- Phoebe Waller-Bridge — Fleabag x Bake Off is truly the collab we need, BBC make this happen.