GBBO fans petition Ainsley Harriott to help show rise again

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It's fair to say that Great British Bake Off fans have been close to crumbling since the news that big changes are baking in the tent.

BBC One has lost the cake contest to Channel 4, beloved presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins are not moving with the programme, and judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry's fate is still up in the air.

These troubled times call for a kitchen superhero to save the day, and fans of the show think they know just who fits the bill - Ainsley Harriott.

Ainsley Harriott with a fish
Ainsley could be the man for the job (David Parry/PA)

People have been calling for the former Ready, Steady, Cook star to take the helm and save it from becoming a soggy-bottomed sight, by putting together a Change.org petition to get Ainsley on board.

Aiden Matthews, who created the petition, had around 4,500 supporters at time of writing and put forward an impassioned case for the new host.

He wrote: "Now that Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc have stepped down as hosts of GGBO (sic), coupled with the show moving to Channel 4, it is crucial that the new presenter has the correct personality, charisma and culinary expertise to take it forward.

Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc present The Great British Bake Off
Mel and Sue are saying a farewell to GBBO (Mark Bourdillon / Press Association Images)

"We think that Ainsley Harriott is an ideal candidate, as he is known for his joyful demeanour which resonates throughout all the shows which he presents. 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.

Undated BBC handout file photo of Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, who have yet to confirm they will be joining The Great British Bake Off when it moves to Channel 4.
The Great British Bake Off's Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry (Mark Bourdillon/BBC)

"Just think of the potential of Harriott and Berry. He may be the only way to make this whole caffuffle (sic) work out."

Jamie Oliver earlier denied rumours that he would be joining the series when it arrives on Channel 4.