Joanna Lumley and Jo Brand front runners replace Sandi Toksvig on the Great ...

Fans of The Great British Bake Off were left stunned as Sandi Toksvig announced she had quit the show. 

Rumours had been rife about who could be replacing her, but it's now emerged that Joanna Lumley and Jo Brand are front runners to bag the job. 

It's also been reported that Steph McGovern and former GBBO winner Nadiya Hussain are also in the running.

In the running: Joanna Lumley and Jo Brand have been named as front runners to replace Sandi Toksvig on the Great British Bake Off after the host shockingly quit the C4 show

In the running: Joanna Lumley and Jo Brand have been named as front runners to replace Sandi Toksvig on the Great British Bake Off after the host shockingly quit the C4 show

In the running: Joanna Lumley and Jo Brand have been named as front runners to replace Sandi Toksvig on the Great British Bake Off after the host shockingly quit the C4 show

Sources revealed to The Sun that Channel 4 bosses are preparing to 'formally approach' commedienne Jo, 62, who is already the host of the spin-off show Extra Slice. 

They also have their eye on Absolutely Fabulous star Joanna, 73, who is pals with the show's judge Paul , 53.

The source said: 'Channel 4 are very much on a diversity drive at the moment so whilst Joanna might not seem like a natural choice, she would be a brilliant successor to Sandi - and very much a like-for-like replacement which is important to viewers.

'But Jo Brand has polled very well internally - but the feeling is she won’t accept such a mainstream gig.

Over and out: Fans of The Great British Bake Off were left stunned as Sandi Toksvig announced she had quit the show

Over and out: Fans of The Great British Bake Off were left stunned as Sandi Toksvig announced she had quit the show

'Steph McGovern is the new golden child of the channel, and with her own show about to start, has also been thrown into the mix. Meanwhile, Nadiya has gained considerable TV experience over the past couple of years, and would also be a popular choice.'    

Earlier this month, Sandi made the bombshell announcement that she was quitting as host of The Great British Bake Off, with her final episodes set to air this Spring as part of a series of celebrity specials.

In a statement the star confirmed she was leaving the show to focus on other work commitments, saying: 'When stepping down from a job, it is quite common for people to say they are doing so

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