Star of TV classics Ready Steady Cook and Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook Ainsley Harriott is being ‘touted’ as the new host of the Great British Bake-Off as thousands of his fans sign a petition calling for him to get the job.
A petition launched by fan Aiden Matthews has already been signed almost 10,000 times – and many of those who signed have taken to social media.
After presenters Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc said they would be stepping down after show creator Love Productions’ sold the show to Channel 4, Aiden wrote in his petition, ‘… it is crucial that the new presenter has the correct personality, charisma and culinary expertise to take it forward.
‘We think that Ainsley Harriott is an ideal candidate, as he is known for his happy demeanour. Ready Steady Cook is a prime example of his suitability to host such influential reality television, as is Ainsley’s Barbecue Bible.
‘Please note, this is not a joke! We genuinely love Ainsley and think he is the best man for the job.
‘Just think of the potential of Harriott and Berry. He may be the only way to make this whole caffuffle work out.’
There’s been no shortage of love for celebrity chef, with one signatory writing: ‘I’m signing this petition because I feel that Ainsley is by far the best candidate for the show , he was always great on ready steady cook and me and my mate Dave enjoy laughing at the ridiculous faces he pulls! Top man did the job’
It is understood that Channel 4 came up with a £75million deal when talks between the BBC and the production company fell apart. In a statement about the move, Mel and Sue said they had made ‘no secret’ of their desire for the show to stay with the BBC where they said it had been ‘nurtured’.
Meanwhile, fans of Jeremy Clarkson and the Top Gear crew will not be able to binge-watch the new motoring show after it was announced it would be aired weekly.
When Clarkson jumped ship from the BBC to Amazon Prime, it was expected all episodes of The Grand Tour would be made available to stream. But producers have decided to go with the Top Gear template, and will release one show a week in 12 installments starting on Friday, November 18.
The first show will come from California, and each episode will feature studio footage as well as the pre-recorded Top Gear-style features.
A new glossy trailer from the show – featuring the catchline ‘What could possibly go wrong?’ – has also been released.