Alison Hammond ‘to replace Matt Lucas as host on Great British Bake Off’
ITV’s Alison Hammond will fill the boots of departing comedian Matt Lucas on the Great British Bake Off, according to reports.
The This Morning host will be switching to Channel 4 when the latest series films this summer, according to the Mirror.
She will join comedian Noel Fielding to welcome the 12 new bakers to the tent.
An official announcement on her new role is expected within days, the Mirror reported.
Her reported appointment is seen as strong move for the show, after a number of fans called for a female presenter. She will be the first non-white host or judge in the show’s 14 history.
The TV star’s career began in 2002, when she became the second housemate to be evicted from the third series of Big Brother.
She was signed up as a roving reporter on This Morning and has remained with the ITV daytime show since - now hosting every Friday and regular school holidays alongside Dermot O’Leary.
She most recently co-hosted the Bafta film awards on BBC1 alongside Richard E Grant.
Lucas announced in December that he would be leaving Bake Off to make time for other creative projects, inculding his new hosting role on the revived comedy show Fantasy Football League.
In an Instagram post he wrote: “Farewell Bake Off! It’s been a delicious experience and I can’t imagine a more fun way of spending my summers.
“But it’s become clear to me that I can’t present both Fantasy Football League and Bake Off alongside all my other projects.
“So, after three series and 51 episodes, I am cheerfully passing the baguette on to someone else.”
His co-host Fielding admitted he would miss Lucas’ “spark in the tent” as he paid tribute to him in a lengthy comment under his Instagram post.
Fielding wrote: “Totally respect your decision matt! But I will miss your spark in the tent and I will miss you channelling other characters at the drop of a hat like your brilliant Boris Johnson.
Following Bake Off’s move to Channel 4 from the BBC in 2017, Fielding and Sandi Toksvig took over as presenters from Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc.
Toksvig announced her departure from the show in 2020 and was later replaced by Lucas.
Lucas and Fielding have been paired together for the past three series alongside Hollywood and Dame Prue as the show’s judges.
Bake Off rose to popularity rapidly after first airing in August 2010.
The series is credited with reinvigorating interest in baking throughout the UK, with shops reporting sharp rises in sales of baking ingredients and accessories.