Mary Berry leaving The Great British Bake Off
Mary Berry has quit her role as a judge on TV cooking contest The Great British Bake Off out of "loyalty" to the BBC.
The 83-year-old culinary expert has judged the baked creations of competitors on the programme since it debuted on the BBC in 2010.
However she has decided against moving with the show to rival broadcaster Channel 4 next year (17) and will follow its presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins in remaining with the BBC.
"What a privilege and honour it has been to be part of seven years of magic in a tent - The Great British Bake Off," Mary said in a statement published by the BBC. "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.
"I wish the programme, crew and future bakers every possible success and I am so very sad not to be a part of it."
Referencing one of the famous innuendos she makes about contestants' baking, she added, "Farewell to soggy bottoms."
Mary's decision leaves fellow judge Paul Hollywood as the only member of the Bake Off's presenting team moving to Channel 4, and he also released a statement confirming he had signed a three-series deal.
"I am delighted that I will be continuing as a judge when Bake Off moves to Channel 4," he told Digitalspy.com. "I want to thank the BBC and Mel and Sue for making my time in the tent great fun and really rewarding."
The BBC lost the rights to the show after bosses at its makers Love Productions rejected an offer from BBC executives believed to have been $13 million (£10 million) per series lower than Channel 4's $32.5 million (£25 million) bid.
- Cover Media