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Sandi Toksvig opens up about real reason for quitting Great British Bake Off

TV star Sandi Tokvsig has revealed the real reason why she chose to quit Channel 4’s The Great British Bake Off.

The QI host joined the hit baking contest in 2017 after it switched broadcasters, having previously been aired by the BBC, and fronted the show alongside comedian Noel Fielding for three series.

She quit the show in 2019, when she was replaced by comedian Matt Lucas. At the time, Toksvig said she was leaving “to spend more time with my other work”.

As my waistline will testify, Bake Off is an all-consuming show,” she said in her statement.

“Spending time with Prue [Leith], Paul [Hollywood] 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.”

However, in a recent interview with Radio Times, the 65-year-old admitted that she was already growing tired of the show before her departure.

Paul, Sandi, Prue and Noel on 'The Great Christmas Bake Off' (Channel 4)
Paul, Sandi, Prue and Noel on 'The Great Christmas Bake Off' (Channel 4)

“To be honest, I left Bake Off because I stopped having fun,” she said. “I was literally standing there watching meringues dry and thinking, ‘Oh my god, my brain is atrophying.’

“So after three years, I thought, ‘That’ll do, go and do something else!’.”

She added: “I’m in love enough with the business to think, ‘OK, that’s a nice pay cheque, but it doesn’t work for me. I’ll move on and do something else’.”

In the same interview, she revealed that she hasn’t been in touch with the Bake Off team since she left, and doesn’t watch the show.

“I don’t like cake,” she admitted. “But if somebody makes The Great British Cheese Off, I’m in.”

Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood, who has been with the show since its inception in 2010, previously confessed he was “surprised” and “really upset” after Toksvig announced her departure.

Toksvig’s replacement Lucas stunned Bake Off fans in December 2022 when he announced that he was quitting the show, after it “became clear” that he could no longer present the show alongside his other projects.

Matt Lucas was replaced by Alison Hammond on ‘The Great British Bake Off’ (PA)
Matt Lucas was replaced by Alison Hammond on ‘The Great British Bake Off’ (PA)

He was replaced by Good Morning Britain star Alison Hammond, who has since joined Fielding along with judges Hollywood and Prue Leith.

“It’s Official!! It’s happening, The Great British Bake off!” Hammond wrote on X/Twitter when she confirmed the news in March last year.

“Let’s have it – The cake that is... so excited!”

Noel Fielding, Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith and Alison Hammond on The Great British Bake Off (Channel 4)
Noel Fielding, Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith and Alison Hammond on The Great British Bake Off (Channel 4)

She made her Bake Off debut in the latest series, which concluded in November 2023 with a triumphant win for the “underdog” of the season.