Sue Perkins: ‘I knew Mel would quit Bake Off with me’

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    Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins
    Image caption Mel and Sue quit hosting The Great British Bake Off when it was announced the show would be moving to Channel 4

    Former Great British Bake Off host Sue Perkins says she knew Mel Giedroyc was also going to leave the show – even though they had never discussed it – because they are “like twins in a cot”.

    The pair both decided to quit the programme when the BBC lost the rights to Channel 4 in a bidding war last year, saying they weren’t “going with the dough”.

    Perkins said the pair were so close after a 30-year friendship that they frequently did the same thing.

    “I didn’t need to ring her and say ‘what are you going to do?’, because I knew what she was going to do – it was merely a question of how we were going to do it,” she told Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.

    Perkins told Kirsty Young she missed hosting Bake Off and would have carried on fronting it if it had remained on the BBC.

    In explaining her decision to leave, she joked: “I think we were running out of puns – there’s only so many in the tank.”

    “Every bap pun, every Hungarian ring pun was mined and mined.

    “But there was one point when I did think ‘can I do this forever?’ – four days before I came to the Bake Off tent I had been with the first family of the Mekong in Tibet, who had no electricity and no running water and they would [only eat] yak butter and barley.

    “Four days later I was in a tent where somebody was crying because they couldn’t find the packet of marron glace, and I did think how can I rationalise these two worlds?”

    Next year marks the 30th anniversary of when Mel and Sue first met at Cambridge University and went on to forge a career as a comedy double-act.

    “The first thing I noticed was she had some dusky pink DMs (Doctor Martin shoes) and I looked up and saw a shock of bleached blonde hair, this profusion of teeth like a broken piano and a hearty laugh,” Perkins said.

    “I felt compelled to just move into her orbit and I knew we’d know each other forever.

    “We have seen each other through such highs and lows, and above and beyond our working relationship we’re friends – we love each other and want the best for each other.”

    Now their time on Bake Off has come to an end, Perkins hinted they might reunite for another TV project soon.

    “I’m very hopeful Mel and I will do some pratting about, but I couldn’t tell you exactly what yet. Possibly some prime-time pratting.”

    Desert Island Discs will be broadcast on Sunday at 11:15 BST on BBC Radio 4.

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