Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, the comedy duo behind the popular BBC show French and Saunders, were reportedly among the stars that turned down presenting roles on the new series of Great British Bake Off under Channel 4 ownership.
According to the Mail On Sunday, the pair were “top of the list” to replace Mel and Sue, who stepped down as presenters when the format was sold to Channel 4.
The baking show, formerly one of the BBC’s top properties, went to Channel 4 last year in a three year deal worth substantially more than the BBC's rejected offer of £15m to Love Productions.
The newspaper claimed the duo were offered as much as £2.5 million to front the new series of the baking show, but an insider has claimed “no amount of money would have been enough”.
Both comedians quashed rumours that they were being “lined up” for the new series last year.
The line-up was revealed on Thursday (16 March), with Sandi Toksvig, food writer Prue Leith and comedian Noel Fielding joining Paul Hollywood as judges when The Great British Bake Off returns in the autumn.
The line-up garnered mixed reactions on Twitter, primarily due to the shock appointment of comedian Noel Fielding.