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We Shouldn't Be Mad at the New 'Great British Bake Off' Short List, Right?

By Vivian Kane | Industry | October 17, 2016 |

By Vivian Kane | Industry | October 17, 2016 |

In the wake of the entire Great British Bake Off falling apart (crumbling, if you will), with pretty much everyone but Paul Hollywood— who, let’s be honest, no one watches for— jumping ship, we now have a short list of British actors and comedians who might replace our beloved Mel and Sue when the show moves to Channel 4.

Now, we shouldn’t be mad at these reported potential hosts, right? Most of them are people we already love. And we should want this show we love so deeply to continue and thrive. Right? All of my insides are wrong in yelling “SCAB!” at my wholly unpolitical, simple cake-loving computer screen, right? Yes? In a better world, wherein I am a better person, maybe?

Because this is a GREAT list. I want to want these awesome, smart people to be on my television.

Richard Ayoade

Ayoade is topping the coverage of this list, with good reason. He’s smart, quirky, and I’d totally love to have him help me bake a cake. But he is perfect because we can imagine him as an awesome guest host, bantering and blustering with Mel and Sue. Which is exactly why it hurts to imagine him replacing them.

Jo Brand


I have to be honest that I’m not very familiar with Jo Brand. But she has a comedy special called Through the Cake Hole (apt) and is already the host of a GBBO spinoff called The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice. That seems like it would make her a great fit for a host of the show, but— and British people or anyone who watches An Extra Slice, PLEASE tell me I’m wrong— the description of this show is all unaired bloopers and drama— exactly the thing most of us love as being missing from GBBO. That content’s absence is what makes this show magic.

French & Saunders


I’m not sure if they’re on the list separately or together, but I’m going to go ahead and imagine it’s the latter. Because that is a show I might forsake my beloved Mel and Sue for and actually watch, happily. Like, so very happily.

In the meantime, before we have our hearts crushed by the new Mel- and Sue-less incarnation, here’s a small consolation that few of us will actually be able to enjoy: Sue Perkins herself is voicing a daydream-based VR video game from the maker of the beautiful Thomas Was Alone. If you fall into that Venn Diagram cross section of GBBO lovers who also own VR hardware, here’s your new thing. For the rest of us, I guess we’re hoping for… Ayoade?

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