Matt Lucas brings the perfect recipe of comedy and compassion to Bake Off as he makes his debut

He might take some time warming to, but Matt Lucas definitely has a lot to add to The Great British Bake Off, says Grace Henry

Matt Lucas Great British Bake Off

Matt Lucas made his Great British Bake Off debut tonight as the series returned for an 11th series.

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Lucas – who took over from Sandi Toksvig – joined Noel Fielding as a presenter on the show, as they welcomed this year’s Great British Bake Off contestants, alongside Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood.

His arrival got off to a slow start, with an early joke with Fielding coming off a bit flat as he took too long to count the bakers in.

But as the ovens warmed up, and the Bakers got baking, so did my feelings for Lucas! Slowly, his natural hosting ability came into play and it was clear why he got the job.

Jokes rolled off his tongue as he talked to the Bakers, and his sarcastic murmurs definitely didn’t go unnoticed. In one scene, he could be seen interviewing Laura as he joked their entire conversation might not even make it on TV.

Great British Bake Off
Great British Bake Off judges and hosts Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas
Channel 4

And later on, he confessed to Loriea that he had the “eating age of a nine-year-old” after the judges criticised her bubblegum and cream soda Battenberg.

Despite the judges insisting the cake wasn’t up to scratch, Lucas seemed to enjoy it and told Loriea, which softened the blow for the new contestant.

He made me laugh when he accidentally ate a rose hip stalk off the top of Sura’s Battenberg, as she told him: “You’re not supposed to eat that.” Staring sheepishly at the contestant, he replied: “Well I know that now.”

Great British Bake Off
Matt Lucas made his Bake Off debut
Channel 4

And when the Showstopper Challenge went wrong for the contestants, Lucas just couldn’t keep his thoughts to himself – and neither would we want him to.

It was almost like watching a fan in the Bake Off kitchen, as he stared at Laura’s cake bust from afar and muttered: “Some of Freddie Mercury’s head is not there!”

But perhaps the sweetest moment was when Lucas tried to comfort a crying Sura, after she knocked over Dave’s pineapple upside down cakes.

Trying to lighten the mood, he told Sura that she must have been “hypnotised” by his “beauty” when she was looking at him, so accidentally knocked over the cakes; within seconds, Sura perked up as she laughed off the drama.

This moment really showed Lucas’ role as a presenter on the series. It proved that his place on the show isn’t all about dishing out cheeky one-liners or fooling about in the tent. It’s so much more than that, and Lucas showed this as he succeeded at cheering up Sura.

Without the presenters there to keep the contestants going throughout the competition, the Bake Off journey just wouldn’t be the same for the Bakers.

So while he might not be pint-sized Sandi with her clever jokes and loveable nature – which of course we’ll miss – if you ask us, Lucas brings just as much comedy to Bake Off – if not more – while showing a comforting side to contestants when in need.

And what more could you possibly want from a presenter of one of the most heart-warming shows on TV?

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The Great British Bake Off is on Tuesdays on Channel 4 at 8pm. To see a full list of The Great British Bake Off contestants click here. If you’re looking for more to watch check out our TV guide.