The Great British Bake Off viewers all over the country woke up to the news earlier this week that Alison Hammond is to replace Matt Lucas on the Channel 4 baking show.
The news was confirmed in a statement on Friday, with Hammond – who had already appeared as a contestant in the 2020 Stand Up to Cancer special – giving fans details.
She said: ‘I’m so very excited! As you can see, all my colleagues are absolutely speechless. I’m gonna be meeting the bakers very soon.’
Hammond will be the sixth presenter in Bake Off history, with Sue Perkins, Mel Geidroyc, Sandi Toksvig, and now Lucas all having hosted in the past.
Lucas, 49, took over hosting duties following Toksvig’s departure in 2019, presenting for the first time during the pandemic.
But Lucas announced his departure after the end of the latest season, which was won by Syabira Yusoff, leaving his space open for Hammond.
Matt Lucas announced he was leaving the Great British Bake Off in December 2022, shortly after the show’s 13th series had drawn to a close.
In a statement posted to Twitter, he said: ‘Farewell Bake Off! It’s been a delicious experience and I can’t imagine a more fun way of spending my summers.’
He continued: ‘After three series and 51 episodes, I am cheerfully passing the baguette on to someone else.’
Lucas explained that he had decided to quit Bake Off so that he could focus on presenting Fantasy Football League on Sky TV.
He explained: ‘It’s become clear to me that I can’t present both Fantasy Football League and Bake Off alongside all my other projects.’
Speaking about Hammond taking over his role, he said: ‘Dear Alison, many congratulations! You were born to do it. You will be brilliant!’
The new series of The Great British Bake Off Stand Up to Cancer begins on Sunday evening, airing on Channel 4 at 7.45pm on March 19.
It features a stunning array of famous faces including Friends actor David Schwimmer, former Little Mix star Jesy Nelson, and comedian Paddy McGuinness.
Speaking about her experiences of working with Schwimmer, judge Prue Leith said he was determined to win and, initially, didn’t talk to anyone.
Leith told The Mirror: ‘I thought he’d behave like Ross – he’d be like he was in Friends. But he was actually very concentrated and didn’t want to talk to anybody.’
Watch The Great British Bake Off on All 4.
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