Matt Lucas has announced that he is stepping down from his presenting role on The Great British Bake Off.
The 48-year-old comedian, who has hosted the popular Channel 4 show alongside Noel Fielding for three series, explained that he was leaving as he could no longer commit to the programme’s schedule alongside his other projects, including his new hosting role on the revived comedy show Fantasy Football League.
In an Instagram post on Tuesday, he wrote: “Goodbye Bake Off! It has been a wonderful experience and I can’t imagine a more enjoyable way to spend the summers.
“But it has become clear to me that I cannot present both Fantasy Football League and Bake Off alongside all my other projects.
“So, after three series and 51 episodes, I happily pass the baguette on to someone else.”
The presenter also praised her team, adding: “I’d like to give my warmest thanks and thanks to everyone at Love Productions and Channel 4 and to Noelipops, Paul, Dame Prue, the crew and, of course, the wonderful bakers for welcoming me in in the tent.
“I wish whoever takes over the best and I can’t wait to tune in to the next series without already knowing who won! xxx Matt.”
His co-host Fielding admitted he would miss Lucas’ “spark in the marquee” as he paid tribute to him in a lengthy comment under his Instagram post.
Fielding wrote: “Totally respect your decision Matt! But I’ll miss your spark in the marquee and I’ll miss you channeling other characters like your brilliant Boris Johnson.
“I will miss your big smile and sense of fun and silliness. I’ll miss our writing days in that ridiculous high-ceilinged room, and I’ll miss us giggling like naughty schoolboys when Paul says “Eggy” in his Scouse accent.
“You were so lovely to work with and so kind to the bakers. Have fun on your next adventure and remember, “It’s all about the showstopper”.
“It was my pleasure to work with such an amazing comedic talent and a wonderful man to boot. Look forward to your next adventures as a friend and fan.”
Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood also wrote on Twitter: “You will be missed @RealMattLucas, good luck with everything you have planned… you’ve been amazing.”
Co-judge Prue Leith tweeted: “Absolutely loved working with you @RealMattLucas.
“Thank you for bringing so much laughter and fun to the marquee.”
The Bake Off’s official Twitter account also retweeted Lucas’ statement, saying it had been a “pleasure” working with the comedian.
“We’ve loved having Matt Lucas light up our marquee for the past three years, especially when laughter and smiles were so much needed,” the statement read.
“We appreciate everything he has done for Bake Off, from working in Covid bubbles to supporting the bakers. It’s been a pleasure – thanks, Matt.”
Following Bake Off’s move to Channel 4 from the BBC in 2017, Fielding and Sandi Toksvig took over as presenters from Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc.
Toksvig announced his departure from the show in 2020 and was later replaced by Lucas.
Lucas and Fielding have been paired together for the past three series alongside Hollywood and Leith as the show’s judges.