The Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith has doubted Sandi Toksvig's claim of being bored while co-presenting the Channel 4 competition.


The comedian hosted alongside Noel Fielding on the popular series from 2017 to 2020, when she stepped down from the programme to pursue other projects.

In an interview with Radio Times magazine last month, Toksvig said that she "stopped having fun" on the wholesome baking show, going so far as to say that she felt her brain "atrophying" while "watching meringues dry".

Leith was quizzed for her reaction to the remarks during an appearance on Times Radio, with the South African restauranteur saying she believes they were said in jest and had been misinterpreted.

She explained: "I don't think Sandi was so bored because she and I shared a wonderful green room in this posh house, which was where we filmed Bake Off and which was in the library.

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"And so we had this wonderful selection of books and she would knit little figures and dress them beautifully... She wrote a few scripts. She did a lot of other things."

Leith added: "I mean, I can see that, for some people as clever as Sandi, watching meringue dry is perhaps a bit heavy, but I think she just liked the joke. I don't think she was really bored."

Matt Lucas stepped into the vacant co-presenter role, which is now occupied by Alison Hammond, while Toksvig has focused her efforts on other programmes – most notably, the BBC's long-running panel show QI.

Sandi Toksvig hosting the QI 2023 Christmas special
Sandi Toksvig hosting the QI 2023 Christmas special. BBC

Toksvig said: "I’m in love enough with the business to think, 'OK, that's a nice pay cheque, but it doesn't work for me. I'll move on and do something else.'

"I hope QI will be one of my legacy projects. By the time we've finished the alphabet, I will have done exactly the same number as Stephen [Fry, former host]. We'll have done half the alphabet each."

The Great British Bake Off concluded its 14th season in November, which saw 28-year-old teacher Matty Edgell, from Cambridgeshire, crowned champion after presenting a jaw-dropping tiered celebration cake.

There will be at least one more season of the main programme, while another celebrity edition is also on the way, which aims to again raise money for Stand Up to Cancer.

The Great British Bake Off is available to stream on Channel 4. Check out more of our Entertainment coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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