Real reason Matt Lucas left the Great British Bake Off revealed – and where is he now?

Matt Lucas with Noel Fielding, Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith
Noel Fielding was sad to say goodbye to his co-star (Instagram)

Matt Lucas waved goodbye to the Great British Bake Off in December, after three series and 51 episodes on the hit show. Set to return for its 14th season this year, 12 budding bakers will watch as Alison Hammond takes the reins, with fan favourite Noel Fielding returning as a co-presenter. But, after an amazing two year run on the show, why did comedian Matt decide to hang up his apron? Here's what we know about his exit, plus find out what he's up to now…

Why did Matt Lucas leave the Great British Bake Off?

In December 2022, Matt announced that he would be leaving the Great British Bake Off. Taking to Instagram, the 49-year-old wrote: "Farewell Bake Off! It's been a delicious experience and I can't imagine a more fun way of spending my summers. But it's become clear to me that I can't present both Fantasy Football League and Bake Off alongside all my other projects. So, after three series and 51 episodes, I am cheerfully passing the baguette on to someone else.

Matt on The Great British Bake Off with contestant Dawn as she bakes
Matt announced that he was stepping down from the show last year (Channel 4 / Love Productions)

"I would like to give my warmest thanks and gratitude to everyone at Love Productions and Channel 4 and to Noelipops, Paul, Dame Prue, the crew and, of course, the wonderful bakers for welcoming me into the tent. I wish whoever takes over the very best and I can't wait to tune into the next series without already knowing who won!"

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Following the news, Noel Fielding penned a sweet tribute to his former co-star in the comments. "Totally respect your decision matt! But I will miss your spark in the tent and I will miss you channelling other characters at the drop of a hat like your brilliant Boris Johnson," he replied.

Noel Fielding was sad to say goodbye to Matt
Noel Fielding was sad to say goodbye to his co-star Matt (Channel 4)

"I will miss your big smile and your sense of fun and silliness. I will miss our writing days in that ridiculous room with the high ceilings and I will miss us giggling like naughty school boys when Paul says "Eggy " in his Scouse accent. You were so lovely to work with and so kind to the bakers. Have fun on your next adventure and remember "It's all about the show stopper" x x x Was a pleasure for me to work with such a wonderful comic talent and a lovely man to boot xx Look forward to your next adventures as a friend and a fan x"

MORE: Bake Off's Noel Fielding reveals why working with Matt Lucas was 'difficult' in candid comment

 READ: Who is Paul Hollywood's wife? Everything you need to know

While Matt cited a heavy workload as the reason for his exit, a month later he revealed that there was more to the story, revealing that his decision to leave was also inspired by his good friend and frequent collaborator, David Walliams.

Matt Lucas and David Walliams performing for BBC Radio 4
Matt later revealed that he and David Walliams had been working on a new project together (Getty)

During an appearance on Zoe Ball's Radio 2 Breakfast Show in January 2023, Matt revealed that he and David had teamed up once more, which encouraged him to leave Bake Off. "Me and David Walliams have started writing together again. We just thought it was time, so we quit our jobs and decided to do that," he said.

"It will be a show with us playing lots of characters," added Matt. "But we have to write the treatment for it and we have to go and pitch it and see if anyone wants to make it. But if someone wants to make it, we'll be thrilled to do it."

The Great British Bake Off: all the winners so far

Prue Leith, Noel Fielding, Alison Hammond and Paul Hollywood on Bake Off
Prue Leith, Noel Fielding, Alison Hammond and Paul Hollywood on Bake Off (Channel 4)

Series 1: Edd Kimber

Series 2: Joanne Wheatley

Series 3: John Whaite

Series 4: Frances Quinn

Series 5: Nancy Birtwhistle

Series 6: Nadiya Hussain

Series 7: Candice Brown

Series 8: Sophie Faldo

Series 9: Rahul Mandal

Series 10: David Atherton

Series 11: Peter Sawkins

Series 12: Giuseppe Dell’Anno

What is Matt Lucas up to now?

It's been a busy few months for Matt, as he prepares to release his debut novel, The Boy Who Slept Through Christmas on September 28. And in the meantime, he's also been recording his very own music, which will accompany the book.

As for his collaborations with David Walliams, while the pair are yet to provide an update on the sketch show that Matt mentioned in January, they have been pictured together a lot lately on Instagram, and in June they were spotted at a PetShop Boys concert. With the Little Britain stars spending a lot of time together recently, we wouldn't be surprised if they made an announcement about their next collaboration in the coming months. Looks like we'll have to wait and see!