The 81-year-old show judge has decided to leave the baking programme out of “loyalty” to the BBC after it lost the rights to air the show from next year, with Channel 4 outbidding the corporation to sign a £75 million, three-year deal.
She said in a statement: “What a privilege and honour it has been to be part of 7 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.”
Mary co-hosts the show alongside Paul Hollywood and yesterday he was spotted heading into the Channel 4 offices, where is is expected to have undergone talks about Bake Off