Sue Perkins has revealed she and Mel Giedroyc quit The Great British Bake Off on the very first day of filming, as they felt it was aiming to be cruel to contestants.
Comedy duo Mel and Sue hosted the TV baking competition on BBC for seven series from 2010 to 2016 but were unhappy with the mood producers were originally aiming for.
Perkins, 50, told the Radio Times: “We resigned, basically. Because it was not a kind show. They were pointing cameras in the bakers’ faces and making them cry and saying, ‘Tell us about your dead gran.’ So we had very stiff words about how we wanted to proceed. I think we can say that, now we’re out of it, can’t we?”
The baking show has become a huge hit and is known by viewers for its light-hearted approach and strong bond formed between competitors during each series, rather than playing them against each other.
Perkins said she and Giedroyc, 51, camed to an agreement with producers, saying: “We’re quite cheesy and homespun and we just want to have a laugh. Who wants to see people crying? I don’t. Especially if you work in television and you know the mechanisms that have been used to make them cry.”
In 2016 makers of the show Love Productions announced they had signed a deal with Channel 4 and would be leaving the BBC.
Perkins and Giedroyc then quit the show, along with original judge Mary Berry.
Perkins said: “There’s no antagonism there. I just think, ‘If you’re going to let us find out that way [from TV], then we’re not really a team, are we?’”
Judge Paul Hollywood remained with a Bake Off judge and was joined by food writer Prue Leith. Comedians Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding took over hosting the show as part of the move to Channel 4.
Toksvig, 61, has just announced she is stepping down and will be replaced on this year’s show by Little Britain’s Matt Lucas.
The Great British Bake Off began in 2010 on BBC Two, but due to its success moved to BBC One in 2014 to air in a primtime slot.