Matt Lucas wins over 'Bake Off' fans in Boris Johnson skit

Watch: This is the moment Matt Lucas mocks Boris Johnson

The Great British Bake Off’s newest star Matt Lucas proved an immediate hit with viewers after kicking off the show’s new series in a hilarious skit that saw him impersonate Boris Johnson at a COVID-19 briefing.

Comedian Lucas takes over as Noel Fielding’s co-host this year after fan favourite Sandi Toksvig announced her departure.

His opening joke couldn’t have been more timely as the series was forced to start 15 minutes later than scheduled due to the prime minister addressing the nation on coronavirus.

Ep1.  Matt, Paul and Prue.
Hosts Matt Lucas, Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith.

While sporting a floppy blonde wig and standing behind a lectern with the slogan ‘Stay Alert, Protect Cake, Save Loaves’, Lucas poked fun at some of the confusing messaging that can come from government COVID press briefings.

He bumbled his way through an opening statement in a perfect impression of Johnson, much to viewers’ delight.

Lucas also proved his worth in the tent by taking the heat out of a pineapple-upside-down disaster.

Series 11 got off to a shaky start with a potential flash point between two of the bakers as Sura accidentally sent a tray of Dave’s carefully-presented technical challenge bakes flying.

Read more: Can you name these legendary Bake Off challenges?

Watch: Matt Lucas interprets PM's speech

Contestants had to make six identical mini pineapple-upside-down cakes, but Sura made Dave’s efforts live up to their name by knocking them to the ground in a pile of crumbs as she tried to fan a fly away from the cake table.

It was a moment with all the ingredients to lead to another Baked Alaska Bin-Gate if not handled sensitively, as Dave looked to be firmly biting his tongue and Sura burst into tears.

But newbie presenter Lucas rose to the occasion with his trademark good humour as he cracked a joke and lightened the mood in the tent.

He told Sura: “It's my fault because I was looking at you at the time it happened and I think you were probably hypnotised by my beauty.”

Read more: GBBO’s “mammoth sacrifice” for filming series 11

As well as managing to get the baker smiling again, he and co-host Fielding explained the situation to judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood, who agreed that Dave could be judged on his one intact cake.

However, things took a slightly awkward turn again when Sura won the technical challenge and looked horrified at her success.

Although fans of the Channel 4 show are clearly missing popular former host Toksvig and her rapport with Fielding, Lucas was generally considered to be a hit as a replacement.

The comedian demonstrated an admirable love of cake and fulfilled any Bake Off host’s number one role – keeping the contestants cheerful no matter how nervous they get.

And of course, pretty much everyone was making the same joke tonight.

The Great British Bake Off continues on Tuesdays at 8pm on Channel 4.

Watch: Matt Lucas on the release of his “Baked Potato Song” that helped raise over £900k for the NHS