Great British Christmas Menu 2020: Everything you need to know

The ultimate TV cookery show is back for a special festive series

Updated on 11 November 2020 • Written By Henry Coldstream

Great British Christmas Menu 2020: Everything you need to know

Just when you thought that you'd made your way through every Netflix cooking show there is and were contemplating rewatching previous series of the classics, BBC have gone and announced a festive mini series of Great British Menu. The first Christmas edition of the show occured way back in 2006, when Great British Menu was in its very early years, but since then we haven't seen the yuletide version. However, 2020 sees the return of Great British Christmas Menu, which will culminate in an epic six course banquet to celebrate key workers.

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The series will feature a mixture of past winners and Great British Menu veterans competing to cook a course at the extra special banquet. This means that we can hopefully expect some of the most impressive and creative dishes we've ever seen on Great British Menu. If there was ever a group of people deserving a banquet full of treats this year, it's the key workers. Having led the fight against COVID-19, the banquet is just a small way of showing everyone's huge appreciation for the work they've done.

Discussing the upcoming mini series, controller of BBC Two, Patrick Holland said: "I couldn’t be more delighted that Great British Menu is returning this Christmas with a very special run.", while executive producer Sarah Eglin added: "The upcoming Christmas series promises to be a very special event for key workers and we can’t wait for GBM fans to see it.”

There has been a bit of a shake up in terms of the format, presenter and judges of Great Christmas Menu 2020, when compared to the most recent series of Great British Menu. So we've put together a guide below to this year's festive edition of the show, anwering all your questions about everything from the contestants taking part to when it's going to be on your screens.

Everything you need to know about Great British Christmas Menu

Information is still trickling through about the brand new Christmas series of Great British Menu, but we've included a short guide below so you know what to expect roughly. We'll be keeping this page updated whenever we hear anything, so make sure to keep checking back.

When does Great British Christmas Menu start?

BBC are yet to announce the official start date of Great British Christmas Menu, but we're expecting it to air in early December on BBC Two. There will be seven episodes in total.

What is the Great British Christmas Menu banquet Celebrating?

Fans of Great British Menu will know that every series culminates in a rather grand banquet usually celebrating a special anniversary or a particular group of people. This year's banquet is all about saying thank you to the country's amazing key workers, who this year have dedicated their lives to the fight against COVID-19.

What is the format of Great British Christmas Menu?

We don't know a huge amount about the exact format of the series yet. However, from the fact that there are going to be seven episodes, we can probably presume that one episode will be dedicated to each course with the winner of the course announced at the end of each programme, and the final episode will document the banquet. Each dish will be marked by the Great British Menu judges, and we will also see the return of the chefs judging each other's dishes too.

Who are the Great British Christmas Menu judges?

Great British Menu regulars Matthew Fort and Oliver Peyton will return as judges this series. However, the panel will also feature brand new judge, comedian Kerry Godliman, who will also be giving her verdict on the Christmassy creations. The line up will be completed by a different guest judge each episode, who will be related to the theme of supporting our key workers.

Who is hosting Great British Christmas Menu?

Perhaps the biggest change on this series of Great British Christmas Menu is that ex-judge Andi Oliver will now be presenting the show instead. She will be compering the scoring and chatting to the chefs as they cook away, but importantly will also have the deciding vote in the case of any ties. It has also been announced that Oliver will also be hosting next year's regular series of Great British Menu.

Discussing her new role as host of the show, Oliver said: "I am so completely thrilled and honoured to have been asked to expand my role at Great British Menu! It’s an amazing opportunity to understand the journey that the chefs go through and to watch the evolution of the dishes before they come to judges chamber is a mind blowing revelation. It’s such an extraordinary opportunity to work so closely with the top culinary talent in the country - it’s a privilege I am not taking for granted."

Who are the Great British Christmas Menu contestants?

The calibre of contestant in this series of Great British Christmas Menu is set to be higher than ever, as a mixture of past champions and veterans will be competing.

Here is the full list of chefs taking part:

Jason Atherton, holder of four Michelin stars including at Pollen Street Social
• Tom Aikens, owner of Muse
• Lisa Goodwin-Allen, executive chef of Michelin starred Northcote
• Simon Rogan, holder of five Michelin stars including two at L'Enclume
• Tommy Banks, owner and head chef of The Black Swan at Oldstead
• James Cochran, owner and head chef at 12:51
• Alex Greene, head chef at Michelin starred Deane's EIPIC
• Niall Keating, executive chef at two Michelin starred The Dining Room at Whatley Manor
• Pip Lacey, head chef of Hicce
• Tom Barnes, head chef at Michelin starred Rogan & Co
• Matt Gillan, chef director and owner of Heritage
• Richard Bainbridge, chef and owner of Benedicts

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