Goodbye and Good Riddance to Matt Lucas of ‘Great British Bake Off’
The presenter is leaving after three seasons of mucking about
On Tuesday, comedian and presenter Matt Lucas announced that he was leaving The Great British Bake Off after three seasons in the grand tradition of tweeting a screenshot of a press statement. You can read his “xxx”-sandwiched farewell note, sent from an account whose handle is “RealMattLucas” and name is “Matt Lucas HQ,” below:
The Great British Bake Off is one of the most popular cooking competition shows, beloved for its gentle vibes and extravagant treats. Its move away from the BBC to Channel 4 five years ago was bumpy, no doubt, but the show — “Mexican Week” notwithstanding — mostly remains a positive light in an overcrowded pop culture landscape otherwise demanding to know if something is cake. So, in a complete rebuke of the spirit of GBBO, allow me to say to Matt Lucas, once and for all:
Lucas has been a scourge on GBBO since replacing Noel Fielding’s co-host Sandi Toksvig, and I am tired of pretending that the show won’t be better off without him.
Lucas, most famous in the U.K. for his work on the wildly unfunny show Little Britain, brought eye-rollingly obvious, too-easy jokes to the program, and he rarely displayed a kindness or generosity towards the show’s contestants. Compare that to Fielding, who is like the show’s floating, ditzy aunt, meting out gentle reminders and silly puns. Even Fielding’s response to Lucas’s departure brims with warmth and sentiment, a prime example of why he is basically the show’s guardian angel at this point.
It’s hard to explain why and how Lucas never felt right for the show. In his statement, he mentions that he’s too overloaded with projects — been there, honey — including something called Fantasy Football League. He did bring a certain kind of competition-loving sportscaster energy to Bake Off, in spite of that being antithetical to the show’s legacy as a feel-good, stoner hangout where one of your friends is forced to go home every week.
Now the big question on everyone’s minds is: Who will replace Lucas? My vote would be for comedian Diane Morgan, more often known as her faux news presenter alter ego, Philomena Cunk. Morgan went viral the other week for a clip in which she learns nuclear weapons still exist. Brutal, I know, but imagine her reacting to someone’s cookies over-baking. If she’s not available, luckily, the U.K. has literally thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of comedians and presenters available for hire — I have watched British television programming for the past dozen years, and I’ve barely even scratched the surface of who’s out there. But whoever they end up choosing, it can only be an improvement, or I’ll eat my hat that is really a cake concealed under layers of disgusting fondant.