Mary Berry has just sensationally quit Bake Off, but Channel 4 has confirmed that Paul Hollywood will stay on as a judge when the show switches channel.
In a statement released by the BBC, Berry said:
What a privilege and honour it has been to be part of 7 years of magic in a tent – The Great British Bake Off. The Bake Off family – Paul, Mel and Sue have given me so much joy and laughter.
My decision to stay with the BBC is out of loyalty to them, as they have nurtured me, and the show, that was a unique and brilliant format from day one. I am just sad for the audience who may not be ready for change, I hope they understand my decision.
I wish the programme, crew and future bakers every possible success and I am so very sad not to be a part of it.
Farewell to soggy bottoms.
Channel 4 then announced that Hollywood will remain as judge. In a statement released by the channel he said:
Since I was a kid, baking has been part of my life. The seven series inside the tent have created some great memories. Best of all, I have felt so pleased to experience other people getting the baking bug, just as I did when my dad helped me make my first loaf.
The Great British Bake Off has brought baking to the nation and we've seen people from all walks of life and backgrounds, experience the highs and lows of competition, and more importantly helping each other. It's been a huge part of my life in the past few years and I just couldn't turn my back on all that – the bakers themselves, the bakes, the team that makes it, and of course the tent, the bunting, and who could forget… the squirrels.
So I am delighted that I will be continuing as a judge when Bake Off moves to Channel 4. I want to thank the BBC and Mel and Sue for making my time in the tent great fun and really rewarding."
Hollywood's statement did not mention Berry, possibly because it was written before the news broke of her departure. He later said on Twitter:
Love Productions insisted that the show will still remain very much the same on Channel 4, even without Berry and the presenters Mel and Sue. Richard McKerrow, the creative director of Love Productions said in a statement: "We want to reiterate to Bake Off fans, that the show they love will remain wholly familiar, and that Channel 4 is a great place to make our show. Bake Off will be produced by the same team, in the same tent, with the same recipe.”
One of the most common social media reactions to the news that hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins and judge Mary Berry are leaving the BBC's most popular show is: Channel 4 has paid millions of pounds for a tent.
But it turns out Channel 4 have only bought the right to use the tent temporarily. The show's production company, Love Productions, owns the marquee, which is assembled every year for filming and then put into storage afterwards.