Matt Lucas’ time in the tent is over.
While fans have expressed their sadness at the comedian’s decision to move on, it does mean the door is open for another presenter to take on one of the most coveted jobs in television.
Whoever is chosen will join The Mighty Boosh star Noel Fielding – who has hosted the show since it moved to Channel 4 in 2017 – succeeding his past co-presenters Sandi Toksvig and Lucas.
Below, we’ve rounded up some of the most likely replacements for Lucas as well as some who we just think have what it takes to make the tent hum with amusement.
Ayoade is my top pick for Lucas’ replacement for several reasons. Chiefly, he is hilarious and his bookish, deadpan delivery is exactly the kind of levity the Bake Off tent calls for. We also know that Ayoade has a good relationship with Channel 4, where he hosted nine series of the travel documentary series, Travel Man. What’s more, he already has the chemistry with co-host Noel Fielding – the two have costarred in Fielding’s series The Mighty Boosh and Ayoade’s The IT Crowd while the duo are also regularly paired up for Channel 4’s Big Fat Quiz of the Year. – TM
Acaster’s history with Bake Off is well-documented. The comedian’s catastrophic run on the show’s Celebrity spin-off has gone down in history as one of the most-memed television segments in history. Who wouldn’t want more moments like that? – TM
Is there a safer pair of hands in the presenting world than Claudia Winkleman these days? The veteran TV host is ever amusing, ever affable and would no doubt do a fine job taking the reigns with Fielding. We also know from her Strictly Come Dancing duties that Winkleman can be sensitive when she needs to be, a quality the highly stressed bakers often require from the hosts. While Winkleman’s schedule is always stacked, the fact that Bake Off is filmed in summer may work in her favour as Strictly is always filmed in the lead-up to Christmas. – TM
Mary Berry’s tenure on Bake Off may have come to an end when the series migrated to Channel 4 in 2016, but there’s more than one Berry in town. Toast of London star Matt Berry might just be the perfect replacement for Lucas – just imagine his sharp, distinctive voice bellowing out how much time was left on a baking task. With Berry already juggling a number of different TV projects – including the acclaimed vampire sitcom What We Do in the Shadows – a stint on Bake Off might be asking too much. – LS
Comedian and writer Shaparak Khorsandi would certainly be a welcome choice to replace Lucas as Bake Off’s next presenter. An award-winning stand-up, Khorsandi (who formerly performed under the name Shappi) has more than enough comic panache to hold her own with Fielding. The one-time I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here contestant is also a known fan of the baking show, having previously appeared on its spin-off series The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice. – LS
Stand-up comedian and frequent panel show guest Sara Pascoe would be another strong comic contender to fill Lucas’s shoes. Like Khorsandi, she was previously a guest on An Extra Slice. Currently, however, she serves as host of Bake Off’s sister series The Great British Sewing Bee. It’s possible this just makes her doubly qualified for the job – but it could mean that she’s got enough whimsical British hobby contests on her plate already. – LS