Noel Fielding appears to be on a mission to dampen hopes about his performance as the new co-host of The Great British Bake Off show when it moves to Channel 4 next week.
With fans keen to find out whether he and new presenter Sandi Toksvig will have the charisma of Mel and Sue – or whether Paul Hollywood and new judge Prue Leith will cut the mustard as the new judging duo – the comedian appeared eager to downplay expectations following a screening of episode one on Monday.
“I don’t think any of us have come into this thinking we are changing anything. I am not Mel and [Sandi Toksvig] is not Sue so we can’t try and emulate what they did and we just have to do things our own way. If we were Doctor Who [Sandi] would be Doctor Who and I’d be the dizzy assistant.”
Warming to his theme, he said that “we are like a little family and I am the dog,” before likening his forthcoming appearance on the show to “finding a spider in a packet of fondant fancies.”
Reflecting on the difficulties he and fellow presenter Toksvig have when forced to tell unsuccessful bakers that it’s their time to leave the show, he said: “I look like the Child Catcher so I have nothing to lose.”
He said these moments were “the worst part of the show” for him personally because of the pain of having to disappoint people he has come to know and like.
“It’s so hard because you become friends with them. It is a bit like being a parent because when they make tiny mistakes you are not allowed to help and you have to let them do it.”
However Fielding is adamant that the show will weather the move from its home on BBC1 to Channel 4 and that viewers will get used to the change of personnel.
“Sandi obviously does QI now and I don’t think anyone can really remember when Stephen [Fry] did it. It just feels like a perfect transition. It’s the same when I did Buzzcocks. I replaced Bill Bailey and people go ‘I love Bill Bailey’ and after two weeks they go ‘it’s the same show’.
“If the show’s good and the format’s good and the elements are good I think the show’s robust enough to take new elements.”
But he was adamant that he was not going to be scanning his social media feeds to find out what viewers think of him when the series finally airs next Tuesday.
“Are you out of your mind? I am going to throw my phone in the ocean!
“If you’re in something it’s quite crazy to sit there and see what people say… because how does that help? You might as well work the hardest you can and do the best job you can.”
The Great British Bake Off begins on Channel 4 on Tuesday 29th August at 8pm