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Channel 4's new series of The Great British Bake Off gets the critics' seal of approval

Journalists are loving Prue Leith, Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding

The Great British Bake Off

The first reviews of Channel 4's Great British Bake Off 2017 are in - and critics have given the thumbs up to newbies Sandi Toksvig, Noel Fielding and Prue Leith.

The smash hit baking contest is back for its eighth series next week - but it's (almost) all change as it moves from the BBC to Channel 4.

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While there's still a familiar face in Paul Hollywood, much-loved judge Mary Berry and hilarious hosts Mel and Sue have departed the famous tent.

However, it seems there's bad news for anyone hoping their replacements - cookery guru Prue and comedians Sandi and Noel - will sink like a soufflé.

A press screening of the first episode was held last night, and all of the major newspapers' TV critics came out praising the new line-up.

Writing for the Telegraph, Michael Hogan said: "Dough devotees can rest easy. Mary, Mel and Sue might be gone but the show’s recipe remains as winning as ever."

Digital Spy's Nicola Agius described Sandi and Noel's double act as "brilliant", commenting: "We're not sure why it works – but it does.

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"And dare we say it, perhaps even better than Mel and Sue's tried-and-tested dynamic."

The Guardian's Mark Lawson said that C4 and production company Love "achieved the most difficult of all bakery-related metaphors – having their cake and eating it".

"Based on episode one, only someone desperate to dislike the re-plated show could argue that one of TV’s greatest successes has soured," he wrote.

The twelve new contestants, unveiled today by C4, also impressed the journos, with some suggesting the standard is higher than ever.

Frances Taylor of the Radio Times commented: "Some of their showstoppers would be worthy of the final, let alone week one."

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It remains to be seen whether viewers will be as forgiving, however. At last night's event, Paul revealed that he intends to stay off Twitter during the big premiere.

Tune in to Channel 4 next Tuesday at 8.00pm to see the new look Bake Off for yourself.