After co-hosting The Great British Bake Off with Prue Leith, Paul Hollywood, and Noel Fielding starting in 2017, the lovable Sandi Toksvig announced she is stepping down.
‘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,” Toksvig said in a statement.
One of those projects is Channel 4’s The Write Offs, which seeks to give eight illiterate adults, between the ages of 22 and 66, the opportunity to learn reading, writing, and spelling. Toksvig will host the show, which culminates in a final spelling test in front of an audience of the students’ family, fiends, and teachers.
“As my waistline will testify, Bake Off is an all-consuming show,” her statement continues. “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 program 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.”
Toksvig will, however, be present for this spring’s The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up To Cancer.
Comedians Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc originally hosted The Great British Bake Off from 2010-2016. According to BBC News, the BBC lost the rights to the show after production company Love Productions struck a new deal with Channel 4 for £25 million per year, when the BBC had offered £15 million. Toksvig stepped in for season 8 when the show moved from the BBC to Channel 4, and Perkins and Gierdroyc decided not to come back.
“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,” Ian Katz, Channel 4’s director of programs, said in a separate statement. “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.”
Leith also shared a note about Toksvig in a post on Instagram. “I have absolutely loved working with Sandi, she’s been a brilliant host and enormous fun and I am in awe of how hard she works juggling so many different projects,” she wrote. “We shall be lifelong friends way beyond the tent.”