Entertainment UK

Matt Lucas admits to being nervous before GBBO debut and piling on the pounds


Matt Lucas found the hours before his Great British Bake Off debut anything but a piece of cake.

He had just two hours sleep because he was so nervous about replacing Sandi Toksvig in the Channel 4 series. But he quickly learned to love the role – and the treats that went with it.

Matt, 46, who appears alongside Noel Fielding on Tuesday, even admitted to putting on the pounds.

Matt played many parts in comedy Little Britain, including Vicky Pollard with her catchphrase: “Yeah, but no but”, yet feared he lacked TV presenting experience.

He said: “Really you just have to go in and be ­yourself. I’m not that used to that. Usually I have loads of lines to learn. Some bakers are really chatty and others… sometimes you talk to them and they are really focused on the bake. You think Oh God! I’m irritating.

Matt Lucas said he had two hours sleep before heading to the show

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“I wasn’t sure if it was something I would be good at.” But he hadn’t bitten off more than he could chew and told Waitrose
magazine: “I had the best six weeks, it was scary being the new kid, but Noel, Prue [Leith] and Paul [Hollywood] were so welcoming kinds and happy to play.

“In the first signature challenge there were 12 bakes and I tried a bit of every one. It wasn’t true I was sick but after that, I went a few days without trying anything.

Matt Lucas pictured on the Great British Bake Off alongside Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith

Sandi Toksvig was replaced by Matt Lucas

“In the last four or five episodes, I started trying things again. I did put on a lot of weight. In the last couple of episodes I can’t fit on the screen!”

He had met up with co-host Noel for his audition and they “laughed and laughed” which no doubt helped seal the deal.

The pair will now be on screen together from next week as 12 talented amateur bakers compete for the crown.

Matt Lucas admitted he was nervous about his GBBO debut

Matt added: “There are really funny characters and heartwarming stories.” In the first episode they make a battenberg signature challenge as well as a showstopper.

“Tears are predicted as one will be first to leave. And with Matt at the helm more tears are certain – but this time of laughter.

  • The Great British Bake Off starts on Channel 4 on Tuesday at 8pm.

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