The Great British Bake Off (often abbreviated to Bake Off or GBBO) is a British television baking competition, produced by Love Productions, in which a group of amateur bakers compete against each other in a series of rounds, attempting to impress two judges with their baking skills. One contestant is eliminated in each round, and the winner is selected from the contestants who reach the final. The first episode was aired on 17 August 2010, with its first four series broadcast on BBC Two, until its growing popularity led the BBC to move it to BBC One for the next three series. After its seventh series, Love Productions signed a three-year deal with Channel 4 to produce the series for the broadcaster.
The programme was originally presented by Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, with judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. Following its move to Channel 4, Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig took over as presenters, but Toksvig was later replaced by Matt Lucas and Lucas also later was replaced by Alison Hammond. Hollywood and Prue Leith are the current judges. In chronological order, the winners are Edd Kimber, Joanne Wheatley, John Whaite, Frances Quinn, Nancy Birtwhistle, Nadiya Hussain, Candice Brown, Sophie Faldo, Rahul Mandal, David Atherton, Peter Sawkins, Giuseppe Dell'Anno and Syabira Yusoff. The series is credited with reinvigorating interest in baking throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, with shops in the UK reporting sharp rises in sales of baking ingredients and accessories. Many of its participants, including winners, have gone on to start a career based on bakery, while the BAFTA award-winning programme has spawned a number of specials and spin-off shows: a celebrity charity series in aid of Sport Relief/Comic Relief or Stand Up to Cancer; Junior Bake Off for young children (broadcast on the CBBC channel, then on Channel 4 from 2019); after-show series An Extra Slice; and Bake Off: The Professionals for teams of pastry chefs. On 27 September 2022 it was confirmed that The Great British Bake Off will return in 2023 for its fourteenth series.
The baking competition was conceived by producer Anna Beattie after she spoke to a friend who had seen 'bake-offs' in America. Beattie was also inspired by the classic English village fête baking competitions; she said: \"I loved that idea of village fetes and an old-fashioned baking competition with people who only wanted to bake a good cake.\" However, Beattie failed to interest any channel in the idea for four years.
Amateur bakers who applied to appear in the show are first assessed by a researcher, followed by an audition in London with two of their bakes. They then undergo a screen test and an interview with a producer. A second audition involves the applicants baking two recipes for the judges in front of the cameras. After a psychological evaluation, between 10 and 13 applicants are selected for the show, with two further bakers on standby should any of those selected drop out. What the bakers intended to bake during a particular challenge is illustrated using animated graphics. These graphics have been created by illustrator Tom Hovey since the show's inception in 2010.
The programme operates on a weekly elimination process to find the best all-around baker from the contestants, who are all amateurs. Ten contestants were chosen for the first series, twelve for the following two series, thirteen for the fourth and tenth, and twelve from series five to series nine, and series eleven onward.
In each episode, the amateur bakers are given three challenges based on that week's theme: a signature bake, a technical challenge, and a show-stopper. The three challenges take place over two days, and the filming takes up to 16 hours a day. Except for Series 9, the first week of the competition was usually \"Cake Week\". The contestants are assessed by the judges who then choose a \"Star Baker\" for the week (introduced in series 2), and a contestant is also eliminated although if the contestant numbers in certain years are not even or there is a non-elimination a week before, then two bakers may be eliminated. In the final round, three bakers are left and a winner is chosen from the three.
Series 1 of The Great British Bake Off saw ten home bakers take part in a bake-off to test their baking skills as they battled to be crowned the Great British Bake Off's best amateur baker. Each week the nationwide tour saw the bakers put through three challenges in a particular discipline. The rounds took place in various locations across the UK, with the final round being held at Fulham Palace, London.
The fifth series of The Great British Bake Off began airing on 6 August 2014 on BBC One. This series was filmed at Welford Park in Berkshire. There were twelve bakers taking part. Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood returned as judges, whilst Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc continued to present the series. Richard Burr was awarded the largest number of star baker designations of any series so far but was beaten by Nancy Birtwhistle in the final.
Since 2016, two-holiday specials have been transmitted between each series. The special will typically feature four returning bakers from the previous series to compete in three holiday-themed challenges (excluding the second 2019 special, in which the cast of the Channel 4 sitcom Derry Girls featured as the contestants). Since 2017 (following the move from BBC), one special is broadcast on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day and the other on New Year's Day on Channel 4.
However, reviews from the later series were more positive. Andrew Collins of The Guardian called it \"the nicest show on television\" and judged it the best TV programme of 2012. Rachel Ward of The Daily Telegraph thought the programme \"had just the right consistency of mouth-watering morsels, good humour, and fascinating history\", while Tom Sutcliffe of The Independent considered the contest \"perfectly baked\". Meredith Blake of Los Angeles Times wrote that the show is \"Escapist entertainment at its sweetest.\"
During the fourth series allegations arose regarding Paul Hollywood's favouritism toward Ruby Tandoh, resulting in personal attacks against Tandoh including by the chef Raymond Blanc. Both Hollywood and Tandoh denied the accusation.Late in the ninth series, allegations of judges' favouritism toward Rahul Mandal arose among a small group of fans loyal to another baker, after judges gave Mandal compensatory time to complete his task. A shattered glass jug forced Mandal to stop and rendered his bake in progress unsafe. The producers awarded Mandal the time (15 minutes) he lost while his station was cleaned, after which he started his bake again from the beginning.
In the fourth episode of the fifth series, there was controversy around the elimination of contestant Iain Watters. During the final showstopper round contestants were tasked with producing a Baked Alaska. Iain's ice cream was shown as having not set and in a show of frustration he threw his bake in the bin. The editing of the show suggested that another contestant, Diana Beard, had caused the failure by removing the ice cream from a freezer, and the perceived \"sabotage\" resulted in an uproar on social media networks. However, unseen footage broadcast in the accompanying programme An Extra Slice shows Luis holding the large floor freezer that contained Iain's ice cream open as he piped the sides of his own baked Alaska, while Mel warns him to pipe quickly and close the freezer. Later in the episode, when Iain removes his ice cream to begin the next step of his dish, it is still quite soft, indicating it went into the freezer he shared with Diana without being completely frozen. Various members of the cast posted comments in support of Diana and a BBC spokesman later issued a statement that \"Diana removing Iain's ice cream from the freezer for less than a minute was in no way responsible for Iain's departure.\"
Follow the trials and tribulations of passionate amateur bakers whose goal is to be named the U.K.'s best. Each week, the bakers tackle a different skill, the difficulty of which increases as the competition unfolds. Mary Berry, a leading cookbook writer, and Paul Hollywood, a top artisan baker, serve as judges. Together with hosts and comic foils Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, Berry and Hollywood search for the country's best amateur baker by testing the competitors' skills on cakes, breads, pastries and desserts, crowning a winner after 10 weeks of competition.
As the eight competitors work their way through the recipes, they candidly share personal and food-related journeys. Even though the bakers become friends, when it comes to signature bakes, they'll do anything it takes to earn a Hollywood handshake.
Plus the Bake Off characters often burst out into songs as they bake. Pippa Cleary and Jake Brunger's ecletic score mixes rap, pop, and 1990s ballads in one. Listen out for \"I'd Never Be Me Without You\", a heartfelt duet between judges Phil and Pam.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II cuts into a birthday cake baked by Nadiya Hussain (left), winner of The Great British Bake Off, during celebrations of the queen's 90th birthday in Windsor, England. John Stillwell/AP hide caption
I went through this phase where I thought I need to do something traditional, and it needs to be really kind of what I thought the queen would expect. And actually, I went from that to doing a complete 360, and I went on to [bake] an orange drizzle. And even down to the decorations, I've decided to go very, very different.
While the beloved baking competition The Great British Baking Show (a.k.a. The Great British Bake Off in the U.K.) may not offer a cash prize to its winners, being crowned the country's best home baker certainly comes with its perks. 59ce067264