Comedian Sandi Toksvig has been one of the two hosts of The Great British Baking Show (known as The Great British Bake Off in England) since 2017

By Dave Quinn
January 16, 2020 08:29 AM

Britain is facing another major exit.

Hot on the heels of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s announcement that they’ll be stepping back as senior members of the royal family, broadcaster Sandi Toksvig has announced that she’ll be leaving her hosting gig on the popular reality cooking show The Great British Baking Show

The comedian, 61, revealed news of her departure on Thursday in a statement on Twitter.

She’s hosted The Great British Baking Show (known as The Great British Bake Off in England) since 2017, alongside fellow comedian Noel Fielding. The two are joined on the show by judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith.

In Toksvig’s statement, she said she would be moving on from the program to focus on other work projects.

“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 — joking, “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,” Toksvig continued. “These are friendships which I know will continue beyond the confines of television.”

RELATED: Every Burning Question About The Great British Baking Show, Answered

Sandi Toksvig
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images
Paul Hollywood, Sandi Toksvig, Noel Fielding and Prue Leith
Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions

This isn’t the first time The Great British Baking Show has seen a change. The show, which has aired for 10 seasons, was originally presented by Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, with Hollywood joined by judge Mary Berry.

Perkins, Giedroyc and Berry all left the show in 2016, during a network shift in the U.K.

“Bake Off is a wonderful program which has already proved it can happily withstand a change of hosting personnel,” Toksvig wrote in her statement. “The reason for that, of course, is that the true stars of the show are the bakers themselves. I wish everyone well.”

The Great British Baking Show has become a crossover success, with American audiences falling in love with the series due to repeat airings on PBS and Netflix.

Filming is usually relegated to only weekends across 10 to 12 weeks, depending on how many contestants are brought on at the start (season 10 saw 13 contestants, but included a double elimination). This filming schedule allows the contestants to continue their work or day-to-day obligations, a rarity in reality TV production.

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