It’s barely 24 hours since Mel and Sue announced that they were sensationally quitting Bake Off, but a steady stream of celebs are already edging forward with one eye on the dough.
One contender who must surely be a favourite is TV chef and campaigner Jamie Oliver, who has made no secret of his love for the show in the past. Speaking in this week’s Now magazine, with an almost eerie sense of timing, he hinted that he’s more than up for appearing on the show.
“The whole family loves [Bake Off],” said the 41-year-old foodie. “I love Mary Berry and it’s really great watching. Secretly, there’s always a part of me in mourning because I’d love to be one of the judges. Maybe in another life.”
Hmmm… not such a secret now, is it Jamie? Oops.
And with increasingly fevered speculation over the future of Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry now the show’s upped sticks to Channel 4, perhaps Jamie’s dream is about to come true. Hell, maybe he could replace the four of them.
“I did get asked to judge the US version but unfortunately I couldn’t, which is a big regret for me,” he added.
Avid Bake Off fans may well remember that the said US version of the show ran for just one season back in 2013 – largely overshadowed by the silverback of sourdough’s off-screen dalliances with co-star Marcela Valladolid – 14 years his junior.
Other early front runners to succeed Mel and Sue include Jo Brand, who currently presents spin off show An Extra Slice, and Sarah Millican, who presented the celeb version of the show for Comic Relief.
Of course, Jamie has pretty close ties to Channel 4, who have produced most of his shows since his defection (sound familiar?) from the BBC back in 2003.
Whether this makes him a choux-in? for the role remains to be seen. (Sorry.)