Noel Fielding has said that he feels like “Tom without Jerry” in a tribute to his Great British Bake Off co-host Sandi Toksvig as she announced her departure from the show.
Toksvig, 61, is standing down from the baking programme after three years in order to focus on other work projects.
Comedian Fielding paid tribute to his diminutive colleague in a post on Instagram with a picture of cartoon characters Tom and Jerry.
He wrote: “Good double acts are a rare and magical beast! I’m gonna miss Sandi comically and personally but i also know we were lucky to have her for 3 amazing years!
“Wish you all the best in your next adventures x x love Noel x.”
Fielding added on Twitter: “I feel like Tom without Jerry! Mick without a Keef. gonna miss yooooooooooooooooo and the wonderful times we got to play together in the tent!”
Toksvig has fronted the baking competition alongside Fielding and judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith since 2017, after it moved to Channel 4 from BBC One.
Hollywood said in a statement to PA news agency that it has “been great fun working with Sandi”, adding: “We will miss her but I hope that she will get time to visit us in the tent when we film later this year.
“She will always be part of the Bake Off family.”
I feel like Tom without Jerry ! Mick without a Keef 🙁 gonna miss yooooooooooooooooo and the wonderful times we got to play together in the tent ! Double acts are rare and magical beast and working with you was a pleasure x x x all my love Mr Noel x pic.twitter.com/nkbuLpvQMs
— noel fielding (@noelfielding11) January 16, 2020
Leith tweeted that Toksvig has “been a brilliant host and enormous fun and I am in awe of how hard she works juggling so many different projects,” adding that “we shall be lifelong friends way beyond the tent”.
In a statement on Thursday, Toksvig said that she was departing the show to spend time on her other work.
She said: “As my waistline will testify, Bake Off is an all-consuming show. Spending time with Prue, Paul and Noel has been one of the great pleasures of my life. These are friendships which I know will continue beyond the confines of television.
I have absolutely loved working with Sandi, she's been a brilliant host and enormous fun and I am in awe of how hard she works juggling so many different projects. We shall be lifelong friends' way beyond the tent. #GBBO #sanditoksvig
— Prue Leith (@PrueLeith) January 16, 2020
“Bake Off is a wonderful programme which has already proved it can happily withstand a change of hosting personnel.
“The reason for that, of course, is that the true stars of the show are the bakers themselves. I wish everyone well.”
Toksvig, Fielding and Leith joined the show when previous presenters Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, and judge Mary Berry, quit following the channel move.
Hollywood is the only original star of Bake Off, which started on BBC Two in 2010.
Ian Katz, director of programmes at Channel 4, said that Toksvig “is a huge part of why Bake Off’s move to Channel 4 has been such a success and we are immensely grateful for her contribution to the show.”
He added: “We will miss her warmth and wit, not to mention her endless willingness to be the butt of jokes about being the least tall person in the Bake Off tent. Fortunately, her unique voice will continue to have an important presence on the channel with new shows in development – none of which involve cake.”
Toksvig will appear in the forthcoming charity series of Bake Off, The Great Stand Up To Cancer Bake Off, before departing the show for good.
Toksvig, also known for hosting quiz shows QI and Fifteen To One, will host a new Channel 4 series called The Write Offs, which looks at the issue of adult literacy.
Channel 4 said they are currently looking for a replacement for Toksvig to join Fielding, and that potential candidates “must have experience of mopping up spills and the occasional tear, making tea and keeping the amateur bakers to time”.