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Mary Berry has quit 'Bake Off' – who on earth could replace the queen of cakes?

Ellie Walker-Arnott
Written by
Ellie Walker-Arnott

We hate to be melodramatic, but life as we know it is over. OVER. Here we were thinking this was an average Thursday morning. We were sipping coffee, daydreaming about the weekend and BAM. Mary Berry went and quit 'The Great British Bake Off'. 

‘Farewell to soggy bottoms,’ she said, this morning. Four words which have sent the whole of the UK into mourning for the perfect amateur baking show that once was.

'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.

'I wish the programme, crew and future bakers every possible success and I am so very sad not to be a part of it. Farewell to soggy bottoms.'

Berry is sad. And she's sad for us, who, as she rightly points out, are not ready for change. Her fellow judge Paul Hollywood has just signed a three-year contract with Channel 4, but without Berry, Mel or Sue, 'Bake Off' will never be the same again. 

It will, however, continue anyway. So we are forced to wonder, what on earth does a post-Mary Berry world look like?

Just Paul Hollywood

'Bake Off' could be a whole lot more growly and silvery-haired on Channel 4. Paul Hollywood is set to remain in the tent, without his baking compadres Mary, Sue and Mel, and he could very well take centre stage in the next series. He'll be the one remaining point of familiarity. Maybe he'll relish the chance to rule the roost on his own. 

An innuendo expert 

The world of TV chefs is overwhelmingly male, but there are a few women who could attempt to fill Berry's dainty, floral shoes. Nigella Lawson is one of them. She'd offer a good alternative to Hollywood's icy stares and she'd get right on board with all those filthy baking innuendos... 

A reliable telly chef 

Before Mary Berry became the UK's adopted granny, Delia Smith was the woman we all turned to when we couldn't remember how to boil an egg. Could Smith take back her spot as the nation's favourite telly cook? She could very well try. 

A former winner

Since being crowned the ultimate star baker at the end of last series, Nadiya has proved she has what it takes to hold her own on TV. To quote the magnificent lady herself: 'I’m never gonna say I can’t do it. I’m never gonna say "maybe". I’m never gonna say, "I don’t think I can." I can and I will.'

Since claiming cakey victory, she's presented her own TV show, 'The Chronicles Of Nadiya', which followed her travels around Bangladesh. Heck, she's even baked for the Queen. She may not be as experienced as Bezza, but Nadiya would be a popular choice for her replacement. 

A new baking granny 

Replacing Mary Berry is an impossible task. Really, she cannot be replaced. There is no one currently on telly who could seamlessly take her place in the tent. Therefore, Channel 4 needs to tap into new talent and uncover a new snazzily dressed baking granny. There's even a potential spin-off show there to find the nation's best baking granny. You're welcome, Channel 4. 

'The Great British Bake Off' continues on Wednesdays at 8pm on BBC1

Here are eight London-based classes that will teach you to bake like Mary Berry  

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