Truth be told, we’re still trying to wrap our heads around The Great British Bake Off sans its hilarious — now former — hosts, Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc. As it turns out, though, Perkins had apparently considered leaving the culinary show long before Channel 4 bought the rights from BBC.
Perkins explained her earlier ambivalence during a recent interview with BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, citing a humbling trip to Tibet (to film a travel documentary) as the primary reason.
“Four days before I came into the Bake Off tent, I had been with the first family of the Mekong in Tibet. They had no electricity and no running water, and they would have yak butter and barley, and that’s all they ate, and they would meditate and be in bed by six,” Perkins said.
When it came time to return to Britain, the sharp-witted host admitted she wondered whether she really could keep her gig on GBBO going indefinitely… or whether she even wanted to.
“Four days later, I was in a tent where somebody was crying because they couldn’t find the packet of marron glacé,” she noted. “And I did think, ‘How can I rationalize these two worlds?’”
Of course, fans of the culinary competition remain grateful Perkins stuck around for the few seasons between that fateful trip and the controversial switch to Channel 4.
Can you imagine GBBO without Perkins’ many puns? Let’s be real; can just anyone other than her deadpan about Bundt cakes and actually be funny? The show, which returned to air this summer, should miss her. We know we do.
For her part, Perkins said she does miss it and wishes the show well. She didn’t deny that her exit made some waves — she calls it a “complicated brew” — but she’s the first to admit she left with her fill of fond memories.
“It was a really sweet show, and I loved the crew, and I loved the director, and I loved the bakers,” she said. “But I sort of loved all of it.”