The Great British Bake Off Rumored Additions: Delia Smith, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders

The Great British Bake Off
Photo credit: BBC

The Great British Bake Off, the multi-award winning show and hit series in the UK, is undergoing some tumultuous times at the moment as a result of the show being bought from the BBC by Channel 4. As a result of the change in ownership, favorite hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, and baking expert Mary Berry, have decided to leave the show.

Paul Hollywood, an expert baker on the show, has chosen to stay, leaving only one baking expert replacement needed to be found. The show has its hands full, but Channel 4 says they are taking their time to find the perfect matches for the show. Berry has said she thinks Nigella Lawson would make a wonderful replacement for her.

The judge, who was paid almost 1 million dollars US to be on the show, is said to have turned down a £7million offer from Channel 4 to stay. She turned it down because of her loyalty to the BBC.

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New Hosts and Baking Expert

Culinary legend Delia Smith is reported to be the favorite replacement for Berry. Channel 4 says that Smith’s cookbooks are kitchen staples, so she would be a credible choice.

As for new hosts, Dawn French and Absolutely Fabulous actress Jennifer Saunders are top picks, and are reportedly lined up to take over, though Channel 4 has yet to make any official announcement regarding this.

The top heads at Channel 4 do think Saunders and Smith, both 58, would make a great team, as they have superb chemistry together. The comedy duo has a previous working history together; they are well known in the UK for their 1980s BBC sketch comedy show French and Saunders.

Even though massive changes are at hand for the show, Richard McKerrow, Creative Director of Love Productions—who will now be taking over production of the show—says that Bake Off fans can still expect the show they love to stay completely familiar, and that the show will be produced by the same team, in the same tent, and with the same recipe.

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The first Bake Off show planned to air on its new home at Channel 4 will be a celebrity version of the show some time in the new year, in conjunction with Stand Up to Cancer.


Sources:
Moore, C., “Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders are ‘lined up to replace Mel and Sue on Bake Off… and Delia Smith is tipped to take over from Mary Berry’,” Mail Online web site, October 2, 2016; http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/great-british-bake-off-dawn-french-jennifer-saunders-delia-smith-mel-sue-a7341611.html, last accessed October 4, 2016.