Today you might want to check in on your friend the United Kingdom because she’s had a bit of a rough patch and now, on top of everything else, twinkly-eyed culinary legend Mary Berry is leaving Bake Off.
This is yet more fallout from producers’ decision to move Bake Off (known here in the former colonies as The Great British Bake Off) from the BBC to its apparently more spendthrift rival Channel 4. Delightful hosts Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc already announced their decision to bail; “We’re not going with the dough,” they said in a joint statement.
And now the Guardian reports that Berry will be sticking with the Beeb, waving goodbye to Bake Off as it sails away to Channel 4, cheerfully hardened to the tears and wails of grief from fans:
“It has been a privilege and honour to be part of seven years of magic in a tent – The Great British Bake Off. The Bake Off family – Paul, Mel and Sue – have given me so much joy and laughter.
“My decision to stay with the BBC is out of loyalty to them, as they have nurtured me, and the show, that was a unique and brilliant format from day one. I am just sad for the audience who may not be ready for change, I hope they understand my decision.”
Berry said she wishes the Bake Off team well, adding, “I am so very sad not to be a part of it. Farewell to soggy bottoms.”
“Mary is an extraordinary woman, loved and adored by the British public, and the BBC is her natural home,” said BBC One controller Charlotte Moore (via the BBC). “I can’t wait to cook up more unmissable shows with her in the future.”
The show’s fourth host, Paul Hollywood, will be following the program to its new home, saying he was “delighted” to stick with Bake Off.
Britain, are you okay? Is there anything we can do?