Our favourite new addition to The Great British Bake Off Noel, 44, spills the, er, mixture on all things cake…
The new Bake Off is great! Why did you want to join the show, Noel?
My mate Serge [Pizzorno] from Kasabian actually told me to go on it. I watched it back to back and I thought: ‘This is such a nice vibe, I love it.’ I don’t bake anything myself but I became a big fan. When I was asked to do it, I was staggered. Sandi Toksvig was in and I thought: ‘This is too big an opportunity to pass up.’
What’s been the biggest shock of the show?
I didn’t realise I’d have to put the tent up myself – it took me about three weeks!
What’s your rapport with Sandi like?
It’s like Doctor Who and the dizzy assistant. I feel like I’m working with Sherlock Holmes – it’s amazing. I love working in a double act, so this is great. I’ve worked with Russell Brand and Richard Ayoade, but Sandi’s a whole new ball game. We made love straight away.
So what makes a double act work?
You never know if you’re going to mesh, but we did.
This is something new for you…
It can be tricky. In the past, I’ve been on panel shows or I’ve played parts like a merman with a vagina. This show isn’t about me – it’s about the bakers. I want to get the best out of them and be friends with them. It’s about the contestants and their personalities. It really is a magical show.
It was rather controversial when it was announced you were going to be a host, to say the least…
And I can see why. People think: ‘What’s he going to do? Wear a top hat and throw a load of cakes on the floor?’ I just wanted to slot in and move the show along into a good place smoothly now that it’s on a different channel.
Are you worried about the ratings for the show now that it’s moved channels?
I’ll be happy if five viewers tune in. Well, let’s say between five viewers and 70 million. Anywhere in between there would be great.
The Great British Bake Off is Channel 4 at 8pm on Tuesdays