New funny face at the helm of the Great British Spelling Bee

It’s been two years since we last saw contestants going thread to thread in a needle match on The Great British Sewing Bee.

It had even been reported that the show would never been seen again on the BBC.

So, the good news is that a deal has been struck for a fifth series.

The bad news is that Claudia Winkleman won’t be back as the presenter.

What with a new cookery show plus Strictly Come Dancing, not to mention her Radio 2 show, she was a bit tied up.

But the good news – stick with this – is that comic Joe Lycett has been signed to take her place.

Sewing Bee has been off air since 2016 when it became one of the casualties in the massive fall-out between makers Love Productions and the BBC.

They fell out over Love’s biggest show, The Great British Bake Off, which went to Channel 4 after months of speculation and rumour.

C4 bosses paid an arm and a leg for it, but Love insisted it was nothing to do with the money (ahem) while the BBC were mightily miffed to lose the show they had grown from tiny cupcake to towering gateaux.

But what about all the other shows Love makes for the BBC?

After a long-running stalemate in which the producers point-blank refused to meet with BBC bosses, talks eventually took place and a new deal has been struck for Sewing Bee, which drew a healthy 3.3 million viewers for its last run.

The new series, due to go into production shortly, marks the first time Love has produced a show for the BBC since Bake Off switched channels without Mary Berry, Mel Giedroyc or Sue Perkins on board.

Ceramics fans stand by your beds – a return for The Great Pottery Throw Down must surely be next.

Interestingly, Winkleman’s cookery show for BBC1, Britain’s Best Cook, features former Bake Off fave Mary.

The Beeb will hope it fills the void left by her old show. We’ll see.

For now, let’s just say good luck to everyone concerned. It’s nice that you’re all friends again.

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