Great British Bake Off's host hunt

Bosses of 'Great British Bake Off' are still trying to find a replacement for former hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins - but the task is proving harder than the initially thought

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Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc

Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc

'Great British Bake Off' bosses are struggling to find replacements for former hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins.

Channel 4 has been tasked with finding new presenters after the duo walked away from the series last year when the broadcaster snatched the rights to the cooking show from the BBC in a mega-money deal.

But it looks like the challenge is proving to be more difficult than they initially thought when they took over the programme as no one is willing to step into the Mel and Sue's shoes for fear they'll "upset" them.

A source told The Sun newspaper: "Channel 4 is gunning to make it the best ever series yet and is trying to sign up huge names. But talks have stalled as to who will replace Mel and Sue as no one in a small industry wants to be seen to be stepping on their toes.

"Big-name chefs with huge gravitas are all desperate to replace Mary [Berry] because they have seen what it has done for her brand and career but young presenters are running scared at the idea of upsetting Mel and Sue."

Channel 4 and Love Productions - the makers of the series - were initially eyeing up Josh Widdicombe and Kate Quilton for the hosting gig but negotiations have seemingly broken down recently for "one reason or another."

The insider explained: "Kate and Josh fitted the mould of what Love and C4 want in a presenter, but it didn't work out for one reason or another.

"They are determined to get the best possible presenters they can but they are still a while off yet because so many of the obvious candidates love '...Bake Off'. No one wants to be the person who took it on and failed."

But it's not just new hosts bosses are on a frantic hunt for as they're also trying to find a replacement for Mary Berry - who quit the show a few days after Mel and Sue walked away - to work alongside Paul Hollywood.

Prue Leith is the hot favourite to replace the baking queen on the show but, although she has admitted she is "close" to landing her "dream job", she believes she still has competition from someone else at the moment.

She said recently: "I'm certainly one of the runners. I can wish. I can dream. I've had two auditions with them and lots of meetings. So I mean I think I'm close but I know there are two people in the running. One other person. Of course I'd love to do it. Who wouldn't want to do it? I've known Mary for years and she loved it."

The 'Great British Bake Off' hit the headlines in September when it was announced that Love Productions had chosen to accept a three-year deal from Channel 4 after negotiations between them and the BBC broke down because they weren't willing to offer a large enough sum.

Within hours of the news breaking, Mel and Sue - who have fronted the programme since it first hit screens six years ago - revealed they had quit their roles as hosts in order to explore other ventures.

A few days later, Mary decided she too would step down as a judge on the show out of "loyalty" to the BBC, while her co-star Paul, 50, caused a storm when he accepted Channel 4's offer to remain with the series.

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