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Matt Lucas to co-host Great British Bake Off | Television & radio

The comic and actor Matt Lucas will take over as a host of Channel 4’s Great British Bake Off alongside Noel Fielding. Sandi Toksvig stepped down in January after co-presenting the show for three years.

Lucas said in a statement: “I’m chuffed to bits to be joining the most delicious show on television. I can’t wait to break bread with Noel, Prue and Paul and meet the brilliant bakers. And bearing in mind my love of cake, I’ve already ordered some much larger trousers in anticipation. See you in the tent!”

Fielding said: “I love Matt. I love his warmth and his comedy and his big joyful smile. I think if we play our cards right we could become the next Chas and Morph.”

Paul Hollywood described Lucas as a “fantastic addition to the team”, while his fellow Bake Off judge Prue Leith said: “The combination of Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding! Will we stop laughing and get any filming done?”

The show was presented by Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins from 2010 to 2016 when it was broadcast by the BBC. It moved to Channel 4 in a £75m deal after the corporation refused to pay the production company Love Productions £25m a year.

The former Bake Off contestants Liam Charles and Nadiya Hussain and the comedian Jo Brand were among the names rumoured to be in contention to take over from Toksvig, who also presents the BBC quiz show QI.

Ian Katz, Channel 4’s director of programmes, said: “We’re thrilled that one much-loved national institution is joining another. Matt has everything it takes to be a Great Bake Off presenter: he’s warm, hilarious and loves cake.”

Bake Off remains a hugely popular franchise for Channel 4 despite viewing figures falling from a peak in 2015, when 14.5 million people watched the series finale won by Hussain. The last series, won by David Atherton, was plagued by criticism of its increasingly difficult challenges.

Toksvig’s final presenting stint, on the spinoff Stand Up to Cancer series, is currently airing.

Lucas first came to prominence on the comedy quiz show Shooting Stars and is best known as a co-creator and star of Little Britain alongside David Walliams.

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