Why has Matt Lucas left Bake Off? Reason he quit, when he goes, what Noel Fielding said, who will replace him

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Comedian Matt Lucas said his three-series stint has been a “delicious experience”

Matt Lucas is stepping down as presenter of The Great British Bake Off after three series in the famous tent. The 48-year-old comedian, who hosted the popular Channel 4 show alongside Noel Fielding, said he was "passing the baguette on to someone else" as he is struggling to fit in the show alongside other projects, including a new role on revived comedy show Fantasy Football League.

In an Instagram post on Tuesday (6 December), he wrote: “Farewell Bake Off! 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.

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“So, after three series and 51 episodes, I am cheerfully passing the baguette on to someone else.”

The presenter also praised his team, adding: “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! xxx Matt”.

What did Noel Fielding say?

Co-host Fielding admitted he would miss Lucas’s “spark in the tent” as he bid a fond farewell to him in a lengthy comment under his Instagram post.

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The Mighty Boosh star wrote: “Totally respect your decision Matt! But I will miss your spark in the tent and I will miss you channelling other characters at the drop of a hat like your brilliant Boris Johnson.

“I will miss your big smile and your sense of fun and silliness. I will miss our writing days in that ridiculous room with the high ceilings and I will miss us giggling like naughty school boys when Paul says “Eggy” in his Scouse accent.

“You were so lovely to work with and so kind to the bakers. Have fun on your next adventure and remember “It’s all about the show stopper x x x”

Bake Off Judge Paul Hollywood also wrote on Twitter: “You will be missed @RealMattLucas, good luck with everything you’ve got planned … you’ve been awesome xx.”

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Fellow judge Dame Prue Leith tweeted: “I have absolutely loved working with you @RealMattLucas. “Thank you for bringing so much laughter and fun to the tent. X”

Bake Off’s official Twitter account said it had been a “pleasure” to work with the comedian, adding: “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.

“We appreciate everything he’s done for Bake Off, from working in covid bubbles to supporting the bakers. It’s been a pleasure – thanks Matt.”

Who could replace Matt Lucas?

Following Bake Off’s move to Channel 4 from the BBC in 2017, Fielding and Sandi Toksvig took over as presenters from Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc. Toksvig later announced her departure from the show in 2020 and was replaced by Lucas.

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Lucas and Fielding have been paired together for the past three series alongside Hollywood and Dame Prue as the show’s judges. A replacement has yet to be announced, but Joe Lyectt is currently the bookies favourite, according to Ladbrokes, with odds of 7/2. Former bake-off winner Nadiya Hussain has odds of 4/1 and Tom Allen who previously presented Bake Off: The Professionals is at odds of 10/1.

NationalWorld’s TV writer Alex Moreland believes “the most likely candidate will be someone who’s worked with the production company behind Bake Off before”.

He said: “Ellie Taylor would “smart money” as she currently hosts The Great Pottery Throwdown, and is quite popular at Channel 4 (but Siobhán McSweeney would be quite good too).” But as Tom Allen and Jo Brand have been involved with Bake Off spinoffs, there’s a likelihood that they could be called up for the role too.

Moreland said he would be surprised if Lycett took the role on “because he’s such a busy person already anyway” after stepping down from hosting The Great British Sewing Bee. He added: “They’ll probably be looking for someone who’ll stay with the show for longer, and really make a commitment of it - I think the continuity of Mel & Sue is probably desirable to Ch4, rather than a revolving door of hosts.”

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However, NationalWorld’s resident TV critic wonders if there is a chance Channel 4 may shake up the comedian/presenter format, and perhaps choose a former Bake Off contestant or a popular food podcaster - or if the show’s US popularity matters, a UK based comedian might land the job to help boost the show’s popularity in the States.

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