It’s hard to imagine the early seasons of The Great British Bake Off without Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc —but the presenting pair have claimed they almost walked away from the show after the very first episode.
The comedians, who presented the show from its debut in 2010 until it moved to Channel 4 in 2017, said that, to begin with, the series was not “a kind show”.
Speaking in the latest issue of Radio Times, Perkins said, “We resigned, basically, because it was not a kind show.
“They were pointing cameras in the bakers’ faces and making them cry and saying, ‘Tell us about your dead gran.’
“So we had very stiff words about how we wanted to proceed. I think we can say that, now we’re out of it, can’t we?
“We’re quite cheesy and homespun and we just want to have a laugh. Who wants to see people crying? I don’t. Especially if you work in television and you know the mechanisms that have been used to make them cry.”
The pair also spoke about their decision to leave the show following the move to Channel 4, explaining how they first heard the news while watching the TV and immediately jumped ship.
And Perkins claims that leaving the show behind wasn’t easy for the pair.
“It was painful,” she said. “And we’ve kept our counsel as to the whys and wherefores, and I think there is dignity in that.
“It’s a show about cakes and the moment you get tied up in intense feelings you tell yourself to stop being silly.
“We wish it the best and in return we just wanted them to understand that it would have been hard for us to carry on in those circumstances.
“There’s no antagonism there. I just think, ‘If you’re going to let us find out that way [from TV], then we’re not really a team, are we?’”
Giedroyc added, “It was hard, but it was the right time. I think it’s good to leave the party before the sandwiches start to turn up at the corners. I have no problem at all with the fact that the show still goes on.”
The current issue of Radio Times is available in shops now