The news meant Paul Hollywood was the only reigning star to follow the baking show over to Channel 4, leaving many angry at his decision to turn his back on his former co-stars.
Speaking about their departures, he admitted it upset him to see them leave.
“Mary, Mel and Sue had their own paths to take,” he told Weekend Magazine.
“I think the world of all three and with them all the best. I speak to everyone as much as I used to.
“It was sad to see them go, I was upset about the whole thing, but ultimately Bake Off is Bake Off.”
When asked about their replacements, with Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding taking over hosting duties and Prue Leith being named a fellow judge, he revealed their arrivals brought something new out in him.
GBBO’s Liam Charles shares a sweet message after his exit from the show as he claims “it’s only the beginning” [Wenn]
“We found three fantastic new people,” he continued.
“Lots of viewers have told me they love Noel, Sandi and Prue. It’s just a fresh way of looking at something.
“It’s brought something different out of me. I feel more relaxed. It’s been a real laugh.”
Paul also opened up about rumours he will follow on in Mary’s footsteps and leave the show soon – and vowed this could not be further from the truth.
“I believed in Bake Off. I love Bake Off, and I will never leave,” the 51 year old added.
“It’s part of me. I equate it to Doctor Who. It’s a big change to have the first woman Doctor, but Doctor Who is still Doctor Who. The Doctors change, but Doctor Who is the same.
“Bake Off is the same. It just regenerates into something a little bit different.”