It’s hard to imagine the early seasons of The Great British Bake Off without Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins.
Believe it or not, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins nearly lost out on the opportunity to be a part of the massive success of The Great British Bake Off.
In an interview in 2020, Perkins revealed that she and Mel quit on the first day of filming because of the “cruel and intrusive” nature of the show.
“We resigned, basically,” Perkins said. “Because it was not a kind show. They were pointing cameras in the bakers’ faces and making them cry and saying, ‘Tell us about your dead gran.’ So we had very stiff words about how we wanted to proceed. I think we can say that, now we’re out of it, can’t we?”
But, the pair continued with Bake Off after an honest discussion with producers.
“We’re quite cheesy and homespun and we just want to have a laugh,” said Perkins. “Who wants to see people crying? I don’t. Especially if you work in television and you know the mechanisms that have been used to make them cry.”
It’s fair to say that the lovely, feel-good nature of Bake Off can be attributed to Mel and Sue.
Giedroyc and Perkins had a 32-year history as professional duo on stage and television when they signed on to host The Great British Bake Off.
The pair admitted that they took the job somewhat out of desperation after Mel “for the money” and didn’t love the idea of being a part of a baking show.
“Cake is so backward-looking, isn’t it?” Mel said. “I remember phoning Perks saying, ‘Don’t worry, mate – no one’s ever going to see this.’ Because we were really scared. We were thinking: ‘Well, that’s the end of our careers. That was the flattest, tweest, most boring thing we’ve ever done. Who wants to look at cakes?’”
But, Mel and Sue couldn’t have been more wrong. Their incomparable comedy relief in addition to the spectacular pairing of judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry made The Great British Baking Show a television phenomenon.
“It was just mad. No one could have predicted that it would explode in that way – we certainly couldn’t have. What a joy to have that mad thing happen to you in your 40s. It just doesn’t happen to two old bird,” Mel shared.
Both Mel and Sue exited the Great British Bake Off after its seventh season.
Giedroyc and Perkins walked away from Bake Off in 2016 after Love Productions moved the show from BBC1 to Channel 4. Mary Berry joined them, but Paul Hollywood chose to follow GBBO to its new network home.
Mary Berry was replaced by Prue Leith, while Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas are currently in the hosting roles previously held by Mel and Sue.
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