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'Great British Bake Off' Hosts Quit As Reality Competition Show Leaves BBC


Now some news for fans of the hit TV show "The Great British Bake Off," which is known as "The Great British Baking Show" here In the U.S. Two of the show's hosts, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, are leaving. They made the decision because starting next season, the show will no longer be on the BBC.


The black forest gateau and Viennese whirl cookies are moving from the BBC to the rival Channel 4 in the U.K. In the U.S., people have been watching rebroadcasts on PBS and Netflix. The show is like a lot of cooking competitions but without the backstabbing or frenetic editing and with a good dose of British humor.

SOPHIE GILBERT: Their hallmark is that they're kind of funny and kind but also (laughter) a little bit dirty.

CORNISH: That's Sophie Gilbert, culture editor at The Atlantic. And she says it wasn't unusual to hear Mel and Sue's innuendos about dough balls and gnashing buns.

GILBERT: There were some complaints in the fifth season about the fact that they were injecting too much kind of spicy sauce into the show.

CORNISH: Gilbert says the show just encapsulates Britishness.

GILBERT: It's strange. It's bawdy. It's people making jokes about soggy bottoms of pies. I mean in theory it shouldn't make sense, but it just does as a show. It's the kind of show where you watch, and it's not high stakes. And it's not high investment. And you know that, you know, even if someone has a catastrophic bake and their pie collapses, it's not going to be the end of the world.

CORNISH: She says now people are worried a beloved institution is falling apart. That about captures Edd Kimber's feelings about the news, too. He won the first season of "The Great British Bake Off." We reached him on his cell phone.

EDD KIMBER: They are such an irreplaceable part of the show that it will definitely change the dynamic, and I think if you look at all different countries in the world that have made the show, I don't think anyone's quite captured Sue and Mel. So I do worry for their - for the future of it.

CORNISH: As for American viewers, PBS says it still has two more seasons of the show that will air. These are seasons that already broadcasts in the U.K. Beyond that, they say, is an open question. In a statement about their departure, Mel and Sue say, quote, "we've had the most amazing time on 'Bake Off' and have loved seeing it rise and rise like a pair of yeasted Latvian baps." Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.