Great British Bake Off: Presenter Sandi Toksvig steps down

16 January 2020, 11:12

Presenter Sandi Toksvig (pictured left with Noel Fielding) has stood down to focus on other projects
Presenter Sandi Toksvig (pictured left with Noel Fielding) has stood down to focus on other projects. Picture: Channel 4

By Megan White

Great British Bake Off presenter Sandi Toksvig has announced she is leaving the show to "focus on other work projects."

The author and broadcaster has presented the Channel 4 hit show since 2017, when it moved from the BBC, alongside fellow presenter Noel Fielding and judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith.

Ms Toksvig, 61, will still appear in the Bake Off tent The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up To Cancer starting this spring.

In a statement, said: "When stepping down from a job it is quite common for people to say they are doing so in order to spend more time with their family.

"Unusually, I am departing from the Great British Bake Off so I can spend more time with my other work. As my waistline will testify, Bake Off is an all-consuming show.

"Spending time with Prue, Paul 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.

"Bake Off is a wonderful programme which has already proved it can happily withstand a change of hosting personnel.

"The reason for that, of course, is that the true stars of the show are the bakers themselves. I wish everyone well."

Her co-presenter Noel Fielding paid tribute to her on Instagram.

Alongside a picture of animated favourites Tom and Jerry, he wrote: "Good double acts are a rare and magical beast ! I'm gonna miss Sandi comically and personally but i also know we were lucky to have her for 3 amazing years ! wish you all the best in your next adventures x x love Noel x".

He also posted on Twitter, adding: "I feel like Tom without Jerry ! Mick without a Keef :( gonna miss yooooooooooooooooo and the wonderful times we got to play together in the tent ! Double acts are rare and magical beast and working with you was a pleasure x x x all my love Mr Noel x"

Judge Paul Hollywood said in an Instagram post he would miss his colleague, adding that "she has done an amazing job in the tent, much loved by all who met her. I wish Sandi continued success in all that she does."

Prue Leith also said she had "absolutely loved" working with her former colleague, branding her a "brilliant host and enormous fun."

She added: "I am in awe of how hard she works juggling so many different projects. We shall be lifelong friends' way beyond the tent."

Toksvig, Fielding and Leith joined the show when previous presenters Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, and judge Mary Berry, quit following the channel move.

Hollywood is the only original star of Bake Off, which started on BBC Two in 2010.

Chief Creative Officer and Executive Producer for Love Productions Richard McKerrow said: "We’ll always be incredibly grateful to Sandi for becoming one of the hosts of Bake Off when we moved to Channel 4, along with Noel, Paul and Prue.

"She has contributed hugely to Bake Off over the last three years, with her sharp witty sense of humour and her passionate commitment to the dozens of bakers during her time in the tent.

"We wish her all the very best on the exciting projects she is currently working on and beyond.”

Ian Katz, Director of Programmes at Channel 4 said: ”Sandi is a huge part of why Bake Off’s move to Channel 4 has been such a success and we are immensely grateful for her contribution to the show.

"We will miss her warmth and wit, not to mention her endless willingness to be the butt of jokes about being the least tall person in the Bake Off tent.

"Fortunately, her unique voice will continue to have an important presence on the Channel with new shows in development - none of which involve cake.”