Reason Matt Lucas left The Great British Bake Off after three years

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Returning to the Great British Bake Off tent tonight are judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith, alongside presenter Noel Fielding and newcomer Alison Hammond.

Former Little Britain star Matt Lucas presented the show alongside Noel for three years and revealed back in December 2022 that he would be leaving the series.

He took to Twitter, now known as X, to announce the news and wrote: “Farewell Bake Off! It’s been a delicious experience and I can’t imagine a more fun way of spending my summers.

“But it’s become clear to me that I can’t present both Fantasy Football League and Bake Off alongside all my other projects.

“So, after three series and 51 episodes, I am cheerfully passing the baguette on to someone else.”

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Fantasy Football League returned after 18 years with new hosts Matt and Elis James leading the reboot.

The stars fronted the new version of David Baddiel and Frank Skinner’s original show, which ran from 1994 to 2004, meaning Matt’s time and commitments were stretched.

Matt’s departure from Bake Off was a surprise to all, especially co-star Prue who expressed she was “really sad” to see him leave.

Days after his announcement, Prue appeared on The One Show where she addressed Matt’s departure.

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She said: “I’m really sad because I love the guy. He’s such fun and he got on so well with Noel [Fielding].

“They were just brilliant. But I do understand why. If [you’re] close to Matt, you do know that he never stops working and he has so many projects and people keep asking him to do things and he loves theatre… he absolutely loves that kind of show.

“And you can’t commit to it if you’re on Bake Off, because we film that all summer. So I think he thought three years is enough. But I think he loved it and we’re really sorry.”

Noel wrote his own tribute to Matt on his Instagram account and said: “Farewell buddy, thank you for three amazing years. I will really miss your spark and huge smile in the tent and I will miss your kindness as a person and to all the bakers.

“I will miss your sense of the absurd and your silliness. I will miss all the times the four of us giggled together.“ (sic)

The Great British Bake Off returns tonight at 8pm on Channel 4.

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