Back to IndieWire

Matt Lucas Hadn’t Seen ‘British Bake Off’ Before Hosting: It Was Just a ‘Pandemic Job’

"I don’t want to host a TV show," Lucas said.

Matt Lucas

Matt Lucas

Getty Images

Matt Lucas is serving up the truth behind his short-lived “Great British Bake Off” hosting gig.

The comedian admitted during the “Deeney Talks” podcast that he viewed the reality competition series as a “pandemic job.” Lucas announced he was parting ways with the beloved Channel 4 show in December 2022 after hosting for three seasons alongside presenter Noel Fielding and judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood.

“I’d never seen the show beforehand and I was not a baker,” Lucas said. “They were just looking for a new host and it came at a time where I had been living in L.A. for seven years and I had just sold my house there and I was thinking about coming back and spending more time with my family and friends.”

The “Bridesmaids” actor continued, “I was told they were interested in me but I said I had never seen it so they [Love Productions] asked if I would watch it and I watched a couple of episodes and thought it was great but I don’t want to host a TV show, but said, ‘Thank you, I’m really grateful.'”

Lucas’ agent encouraged him to reconsider and eventually Lucas “went along with it” and landed the gig.

“Then I was like, ‘Oh, OK,’ and it just kind of happened – it was exactly when the pandemic was and it was the perfect pandemic job and I did it and it was fun and I had a great time with Noel and Paul and Prue and the bakers were lovely and I learned a bit about baking,” Lucas said.

However, his upcoming projects with “Little Britain” co-star David Walliams and series “Fantasy Football League” are better uses of his time, according to Lucas.

“It probably utilizes what I have better than ‘Bake Off,'” he said. “I just don’t have the time and not doing ‘Bake Off’ means I have time to do some writing with David and record my music as well as ‘Fantasy Football League.'”

Lucas previously took to Instagram to bid farewell to the reality series.

“It’s been a delicious experience and I can’t imagine a more fun way of spending my summers, but it’s become clear to me that I can’t present both ‘Fantasy Football League’ and ‘Bake Off’ alongside all my other projects,” Lucas wrote. “After three series and 51 episodes, I am cheerfully passing on the baguette to someone else.”

He continued, “I would like to give my warmest thanks and gratitude to everyone at Love Productions and Channel 4 and to Noelipops, Paul, Dame Prue, the crew and, of course, the wonderful bakers for welcoming me into the tent. I wish whoever takes over all the very best and I can’t wait to tune into the next series without already knowing who won!”

The Great British Bake Off” showrunner and executive producer Richard McKerrow announced that a new co-host to replace Lucas would “look after the bakers during their experience and be curious about what they’re baking and to do it with charm, humor, and kindness.” No casting has been shared as of print.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Television and tagged , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox