A Channel 4 boss has revealed how Noel Fielding became a host on The Great British Bake Off 2017, praising his “child-like” qualities.
The baking contest’s first C4 series begins tonight, with Noel and Sandi Toksvig replacing Mel and Sue as presenters.
Noel’s casting in particular raised eyebrows, with some questioning whether the hellraiser comedian is appropriate for a family-friendly show.
But it turns out Noel has a young fan of his E4 series Luxury Comedy to thank for his job.
Speaking at the Edinburgh Television Festival, C4’s chief creative officer Jay Hunt said she put Noel forward for the role after recalling an old letter from a 7-year-old viewer.
“It was me that suggested Noel. It goes back to a little show that we did for E4 called Luxury Comedy, which was sort of a primary colours, trippy experience,” she explained.
“The comedy team got this lovely letter from a seven-year-old girl, saying that she wasn’t allowed to watch it with the sound up.
“But she was allowed to watch it with the sound down, and she absolutely adored it.”
Hunt continued: “It really stayed with me that he has the ability to communicate with children as well. There’s something quite child like in the way that he comes across.
“I thought he would be an interesting flavour in the mix.”
Hunt also urged viewers to give Sandi and Noel a chance, claiming that the pair quickly developed a “charming” relationship.
“Something rather magical has happened with Sandi and Noel,” she said. “That’s as much luck as judgement, you can’t in any way force those sorts of situations.
“But there’s a rather charming dynamic that’s emerging. I think they’re gonna be a pairing to watch.”
The Great British Bake Off airs on Tuesdays at 8.00pm on Channel 4 from tonight.