Mary Berry quits The Great British Bake Off as Paul Hollywood signs new deal to stay
- Credit: PA
The nation's favourite TV chef, Mary Berry, has today announced she will be quitting the Great British Bake Off out of loyalty to the BBC.
Queen of baking, Mary Berry, has announced this morning that she will be leaving The Great British Bake Off ahead of its impending move to Channel 4.
Earlier this month it was announced that The BBC had lost its contract to broadcast the baking competition show and a new three year deal between Love Productions, the company who makes the programme, and Channel 4 had been signed.
The UK TV cook, who has strong links to Norfolk, has been a judge on The Great British Bake Off since it debuted in August 2010 becoming an instant hit with viewers for her cheeky comments.
'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,' she said in a statement.
'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.
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'I wish the programme, crew and future bakers every possible success and I am so very sad not to be a part of it.
She added: 'Farewell to soggy bottoms.'
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The news of her departure follows announcements that presenters Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc will also be stepping down from the show.
Fellow judge Paul Hollywood has in turn signed a new three-year deal with the programme.
In a statement he said: '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.
'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 show has 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'.
Norfolk nurse Kate Barmby, who appeared on season seven of the baking show, said: 'Mary Berry was the person I was most looking forward to meeting. She's very much a family baker, which is important to me as I focus on baking for my children and the community.'
She added: 'I've grown up learning from her recipes, she's a big part of why I initially applied for the show and she really made the whole experience phenomenal.'
Channel 4 are thought to have fought off competition from both ITV and Netflix, as well as the BBC, to win the rights to the show and are believed to be paying around £25 million a year to broadcast it.
The channel swap is set to take place in 2017 when a celebrity version of the hit programme in aid of the charity Stand Up to Cancer will air.
• What do you think of Mary Berry's decision to leave the show? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @EDP24