And the country is officially in mourning
All of our worst Great British Bake Off fears have come true… the queen of baking, Mary Berry, has stepped down from her pastry throne.
In the wake of news that hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins wouldn’t be ‘following the dough’ and joining GBBO as it moves to Channel 4, everyone’s favourite judge (sorry Paul) has now declared that she’ll soon be saying farewell to the tent as well.
In an emotional statement, the 81-year-old announced she’ll be staying true to the Beeb, saying: ‘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.
‘What a privilege and honour it has been to be part of seven years of magic in a tent. I am just sad for the audience who may not be ready for change – I hope they understand my decision.
‘The Bake Off family – Paul [Hollywood], Mel and Sue have given me so much joy and laughter. I wish the programme, crew and future bakers every possible success and I am so very sad not to be a part of it.’
She added a final: ‘Farewell to soggy bottoms.’
Queue the sound of the whole nation’s hearts breaking.
Mary has been a judge since the show started in 2010, and her love of a wry comment and chic floral jackets made viewers fall in love with her.
Unsurprisingly, fans have taken to social media in their droves to express their sorrow, with Twitter pretty much turning into a Mary Berry appreciation page.
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One said: ‘#GBBO without Mary Berry is like baking without an oven.’
Another added: ‘Mary Berry has quit #GBBO, the nation is in bits, and as one we cry, ‘Mary”.’
Even the celebs have got involved. Phillip Schofield Tweeted: ‘Mary Berry quits Bake-Off… clang went the wheels as they all fell off.’
And David Walliams spoke on behalf of everyone when he said: ‘Mary Berry I love you! What a classy lady…’
There’s no denying that Mary will be seriously missed. Charlotte Moore, director of BBC content, has said: ‘Mary is an extraordinary woman, loved and adored by the British public, and the BBC is her natural home.
‘I’ve been very lucky to have had the pleasure of working with Mary over the last 7 years and I’m so pleased that relationship will continue.
‘She is an inspiration to generations, a real icon and I can’t wait to cook up more unmissable shows in her future.’
But there is someone who’ll be joining the programme when it moves to Channel 4 – Mary’s co-judge Paul.
Earlier today, he revealed: ‘It’s been a huge part of my life in the past few years and I just couldn’t turn my back on all that – the bakers themselves, the bakes, the team that makes it, and of course the tent, the bunting, and who could forget… the squirrels.
‘So I am delighted that I will be continuing as a judge when Bake Off moves to Channel 4. I want to thank the BBC and Mel and Sue for making my time in the tent great fun and really rewarding.’
Well, at least that’s something…
By Naomi Bartram