The comedy duo hosted the baking competition for seven series before it was poached from the BBC by Channel 4 in 2016.
But in an interview with Radio Times, they admit that it nearly turned out very differently after they quit on the first day of filming.
“We wanted to make it kind,” Mel says. “That was absolutely our number one priority and on day one we had quite a frank chat with the producers.”
Sue adds: “We resigned, basically. Because it was not a kind show.
“They were pointing cameras in the bakers’ faces and making them cry and saying, ‘Tell us about your dead gran.’ So we had very stiff words about how we wanted to proceed. I think we can say that, now we’re out of it, can’t we?
“We’re quite cheesy and homespun and we just want to have a laugh. Who wants to see people crying? I don’t. Especially if you work in television and you know the mechanisms that have been used to make them cry.”
The pair also open up about their decision to quit the show when it was announced it was moving to Channel 4 - something they found out while watching the news.
“It was painful, and we’ve kept our counsel as to the whys and wherefores, and I think there is dignity in that,” Sue says.
“It’s a show about cakes and the moment you get tied up in intense feelings you tell yourself to stop being silly.
“We wish it the best and in return we just wanted them to understand that it would have been hard for us to carry on in those circumstances. There’s no antagonism there. I just think, ‘If you’re going to let us find out that way [from TV], then we’re not really a team, are we?’”
Mel adds: “It was hard, but it was the right time. I think it’s good to leave the party before the sandwiches start to turn up at the corners. I have no problem at all with the fact that the show still goes on.”
Last week, it was announced that Sandi Toksvig – one of Mel and Sue’s replacement hosts on the Channel 4 incarnation of the show – was leaving after three years.
She is set to be replaced by Little Britain star Matt Lucas, who will share presenting duties with existing host Noel Fielding.
Read the full interview with Mel and Sue in the new edition of Radio Times, out now. www.radiotimes.com