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Matt Lucas Reveals The Real Reason Behind His Great British Bake Off Exit

Left to right: Paul Hollywood, Matt Lucas and Prue Leith on The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up To Cancer
Left to right: Paul Hollywood, Matt Lucas and Prue Leith on The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up To Cancer

Left to right: Paul Hollywood, Matt Lucas and Prue Leith on The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up To Cancer

Matt Lucas has opened up about his decision to leave the Great British Bake Off, revealing that David Walliams played a role in his departure.

The former Little Britain comic announced he was stepping down as co-host of the hit Channel 4 baking show in December, after three years at the helm alongside Noel Fielding.

At the time, Matt cited scheduling issues with his other projects, which he has now admitted is seeing him reunite with former comedy partner David.

During an appearance on Zoe Ball’s Radio 2 Breakfast Show on Thursday, Matt explained that he and former Britain’s Got Talent judge were writing together again and had quit their respective jobs to focus on the new project.

He told Zoe: “Me and David Walliams have started writing together again. We just thought it was time, so we quit our jobs and decided to do that.

“I mean I still do Fantasy Football League, obviously. We just started last week.”

David Walliams and Matt Lucas pictured in 2008
David Walliams and Matt Lucas pictured in 2008

David Walliams and Matt Lucas pictured in 2008

Revealing the concept of his and David’s new show had already been worked out, Matt continued: “It will be a show with us playing lots of characters. But we have to write the treatment for it and we have to go and pitch it and see if anyone wants to make it.

“But if someone wants to make it, we’ll be thrilled to do it,” added Matt, whose Bake Off replacement is yet to be announced.

Matt and David created and starred in Little Britain from 2003 to 2007, which also spawned a US spin-off and a national arena tour.

They later worked together again on Come Fly With Me in 2010.

However, the pair have faced renewed criticism in recent years over characters they played in both series, particularly how they performed in blackface.

Following Little Britain’s removal from the BBC iPlayer and Netflix in 2020, the duo shared a joint statement apologising for the use of blackface in their shows.

“[We] have both spoken publicly in recent years of our regret that we played characters of other races,” they said. “Once again we want to make it clear that it was wrong and we are very sorry.”

Following Matt’s exit from The Great British Bake Off in December, it was confirmed earlier this week that David had left his role as a judge on Britain’s Got Talent after 10 years.

His future on the ITV talent show looked uncertain since last year, when recordings of him making explicit and disparaging remarks about some auditionees on the set of the show were shared in the media.

After the comments were made public, David issued a statement apologising to the people he had made “disrespectful comments about during breaks in filming”.

In November, a BGT spokesperson claimed that the former Little Britain comedian’s return to BGT was “very much up in the air” at that time, while he has since been replaced on the panel by former Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli, alongside returning judges Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden.

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