.

Paul Hollywood to front Bake Off as Mary Berry steps down

Mary Berry will quit The Great British Bake Off when it moves to Channel 4 - but Paul Hollywood has announced he will stay on to front the show.

In a statement Berry said she made the decision to step down "out of loyalty" to the BBC.

But Hollywood said he was "delighted" to continue as a judge for the next three series of the hit show. 

Berry's departure comes a week after the show's hosts, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, said they would not front the programme on Channel 4.

Ms Berry, 81, said: "What a privilege and honour it has been 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."

Fellow judge Hollywood said: "(Great British Bake Off) has been a huge part of my life in the past few years and I just couldn't turn my back on all that." 

He added: "I want to thank the BBC and Mel and Sue for making my time in the tent great fun and really rewarding."

Great British Bake Off's move to Channel 4 comes after the BBC lost its contract to broadcast the hit show.

The BBC is believed to have offered Love Productions £15m a year to keep the programme, but the bid is reported to have fallen £10m short.

Charlotte Moore, director of BBC content, welcomed Ms Berry's decision to stay with the corporation.

She 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 seven years and I'm so pleased that relationship will continue."

Channel 4 will begin airing Great British Bake Off next year, with a celebrity version in aid of Stand Up To Cancer.

More follows...

More from Showbiz News