Mary Berry quits Bake Off but Paul Hollywood stays

TV star Mary Berry will not join ‘The Great British Bake Off’ when it moves from BBC1 to Channel 4 next year but Paul Hollywood will remain.

Mary and Paul are co-judges on the hit show, series seven of which is currently airing on Wednesdays at 8pm.  

Their announcements follow an earlier decision by the show’s co-presenters Sue Perkins and Mel Geidroyc to also leave the production, saying they were not “going with the dough”.

The foursome has appeared on the show since the first series was broadcast on BBC Two in 2010.

In a statement issued on her behalf by the BBC, Mary Berry said: “What a privilege and honour it has been to be part of seven years of magic in a tent – ‘The Great British Bake Off’. The Bake Off family – Paul, Mel and Sue – have given me so much joy and laughter.

“My decision to stay with the BBC is out of loyalty to them, as they have nurtured me, and the show, that was a unique and brilliant format from day one. I am just sad for the audience who may not be ready for change. I hope they understand my decision.I wish the programme, crew and future bakers every possible success and I am so very sad not to be a part of it. Farewell to soggy bottoms.”

Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content, said in a statement: “Mary is an extraordinary woman, loved and adored by the British public, and the BBC is her natural home.I’ve been very lucky to have had the pleasure of working with Mary over the last seven years and I’m so pleased that relationship will continue. She is an inspiration to generations – a real icon – and I can’t wait to cook up more unmissable shows with her in the future.”

Paul Hollywood, who has signed a three-year deal with Channel 4, said in a statement: “Since I was a kid, baking has been part of my life. The seven series inside the tent have created some great memories. Best of all, I have felt so pleased to experience other people getting the baking bug, just as I did when my dad helped me make my first loaf.

“‘The Great British Bake Off’ has brought baking to the nation and we’ve seen people from all walks of life and backgrounds experience the highs and lows of competition, and more importantly helping each other.

“It’s been a huge part of my life in the past few years and I just couldn’t turn my back on all that – the bakers themselves, the bakes, the team that makes it, and of course the tent, the bunting, and who could forget… the squirrels.

“So I’m delighted that I will be continuing as a judge when Bake Off moves to Channel 4. I want to thank the BBC and Mel and Sue for making my time in the tent great fun and really rewarding.”

In a later statement he added: “When I spoke about my news earlier on, I did not know what Mary was saying about her decision, and more importantly had not been able to speak to her.

“Let there be no doubt: I have loved every minute of my time working with Mary. I have learned so much from her and we are great friends inside and outside the tent. That will not change. Knowing her as well as I do, I am sure she has made the right decision for her. I will miss her.”

 

Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, co-judges of  BBC1’s  ‘The Great British Bake Off’

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