Mary Berry, reigning head of pastry monarch of the British empire, has left her position as co-judge on the hit series The Great British Bake Off, according to The Guardian Thursday. Berry’s decision follows the departure of genial hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins as the show transitions from the BBC to ad-supported Channel 4 for its eighth season.
Paul Hollywood, the remaining face of the show’s quartet, will stay on the show. Channel 4 announced Hollywood has signed on for an additional three seasons of Bake Off. Hollywood tweeted Thursday morning:
In announcing her departure, the 81-year-old Berry said her decision to leave the Bake Off tent was out of loyalty to BBC. ”I am just sad for the audience who may not be ready for change, I hope they understand my decision,” she said. “I am so very sad not to be a part of it. Farewell to soggy bottoms.”
The Great British Bake Off has been consistently the most popular television series in the U.K., and has developed a similar cult following in America on PBS (where the show is rebranded as The Great British Baking Show). The domino of departures began falling earlier this month after Channel 4 outbid BBC by a reported £10 million to acquire the series. The show aired with no commercials on publicly funded BBC for its first seven seasons.