The Great British Bake Off is one of the most popular shows on British television, which is quite a feat considering that Bake Off is famously twee and prefers technical bakes and soggy bottoms to wine tosses and screams of “Rickayyyyy” (yes Eastenders, we’re looking at you).
The Great British Bake Off debuted on the BBC in the summer of 2010 and went on to achieve huge success, as well as resulting in renewed fame for the original line-up of judges and presenters, namely Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood, Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc. At one point during the 2014 series, contestant Diana made the decision to remove her fellow baker Iain’s Baked Alaska from a freezer prematurely, causing it to melt and resulting in Iain throwing his creation in the bin. The moment secured GBBO’s place in British television history, sparking a huge national debate which saw the scandal grace the front page of several national newspapers and someone change Diana’s Wikipedia page to label her an ‘ice cream melting supervillain’ (bit harsh).
In 2017, the BBC made the shocking announcement that Great British Bake Off would be leaving the channel and finding a new home on Channel 4. The move also saw judge Mary Berry, plus hosts Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc quit the show, although judge Paul Hollywood stayed. The revamped series aired on Channel 4 later that year and was warmly received by most critics and viewers, proving that Bake Off hadn’t lost its magic.
Now, The Great British Bake Off is back for another year, bringing some much needed light relief to what has been a challenging 2020 for most. To give you the full lowdown on everything you need to know about this year’s series, we’ve rounded up details on everything from the contestants and judges all the way through to how the Coronavirus pandemic affected filming. Read below to get all the answers you’ve been looking for - happy baking!
When does Great British Bake off 2020 air?
GBBO usually airs towards the end of the summer season, but this year filming was delayed slightly due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. The latest series kicked off on 22 September 2020 at 8pm on Channel 4.
Which channel is Great British Bake Off 2020 on?
GBBO originally aired on the BBC, but was controversially sold to a new channel in 2016. The 2020 series will be the fourth one to air on Bake Off’s new home, Channel 4.
Who judges Great British Bake off 2020?
When the programme moved from the BBC to Channel 4, it lost presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, as well as judge Mary Berry. However, the new version of the show retained original judge Paul Hollywood, who was joined by new presenters Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig, as well as judge Prue Leith.
In January of this year, Toksvig announced that she would be departing the series and in March, it was announced that comedian Matt Lucas would be taking her place.
Meet the Great British Bake Off 2020 contestants
This year’s batch of bakers includes a security guard, a sculptor and a pantomime producer. There are 12 contestants taking part this year, which is one less than last year's 'baker's dozen' of 13. The show is typically filmed on weekends across three months, but the Coronavirus pandemic meant contestants were instead asked to take six weeks off work and all live together in a secure filming location.
You can get to know a little bit more about each of this year's contestants below.
Profession: Armoured guard
Dave's baking obsession didn't start until he was well into adulthood, but now he bakes at least once a week at the home he shares with his girlfriend. Dave's baking strengths include different types of bread and decoration - when he's not baking, you'll find him listening to his favourite punk rock bands.
Raised in Benin, West Africa, Hermine moved to London in 2001 to pursue further education. As a child, she always helped her mum bake sweet treats for big family gatherings and she's a dab hand at sourdough too - in fact, her nine year old son refuses to eat any other kind of bread!
Profession: Digital manager
A lover of musical theatre, Laura began baking at just eight years old, but only started taking it seriously in the last few years. Her strong suit is decoration and she's thrilled to have mastered piping buttercream flowers. In her spare time, she volunteers for the Samaritans.
Profession: Retirement living team leader
Linda's interest in baking started on visits to her aunt's dairy farm, when she would milk the cows and then help her aunt to bake cakes in the kitchen. She loves to make classic, home-comfort bakes and is particularly good at sausage rolls. Outside of the kitchen, Linda loves spending time in her garden.
Profession: Diagnostic radiographer
Having moved to the UK from Jamaica aged 15, Loriea uses her bakes as a way to celebrate her Caribbean heritage. Loriea's maternal grandmother played a big part in her passion for baking and she loves to incorporate the likes of coconut, chillies and cinnamon into her creations.
Profession: Pantomime producer
Lottie’s passion for baking was obvious from a young age, when she'd often be found watching cooking shows and reading cookery books rather than playing with toys. She describes herself as a 'perpetually frustrated perfectionist' in the kitchen and dabbles in yoga in her spare time.
Makbul first started baking as a young child to support his mum around the house, but these days his harshest critics are his three grown up children. Outisde of the kitchen, Makbul produces his own honey, which he loves to use in his bakes.
Cornwall-based Marc started baking bread as a form of therapy in 2016, after losing his leg following a tragic motorbike incident. Marc has sinced honed his skills and added cakes and pastries to his repetoire too. He hopes to make his daughter's proud on the show.
Profession: Project manager
Not to be confused with fellow contestant Marc, Mark with a 'k' specialises in creating multi-tiered wedding cakes. His baking is hugely influenced by his northern Irish heritage, but also by his trips to Africa and Asia, which are part of his job working for public health research programmes.
Bake Off was actually the inspiration for Edinburgh-born Peter to start baking - he's watched every single series. He loves to use Scottish ingredients in his bakes, such as berries, whisky, oats and honey, while when he's not baking you'll find him on the badminton court.
Profession: Music teacher
A big fan of the Georgian era, self-taught Rowan loves to recreate complex, layered cakes from the 18th century whenever he has the chance. He is also a bit of a fitness fanatic, swimming a mile most mornings and often riding horses at his local stables.
Profession: Pharmacy dispenser
Sura Middle Eastern and Asian heritage seamless works its way into her baking, with the pharmacy dispenser drawing ingluence from Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and India. She also loves to improvise and isn't a fan of following recipes to the letter.
Watch the trailer for Great British Bake Off 2020
Channel 4 has released a trailer for the new series of the show, which makes a cheeky reference to how difficult it was to source flour at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Watch it below.
Who left Bake Off last week?
Episode 1 - Cake Week
In the series opener, Peter took the title of Star Baker after impressing the judges with his showstopper bake, while Loriea was the first to get the boot after her Battenburg was labelled as 'dry'.
Episode 2 - Biscuit Week
In the second week of the competition, Star Baker was awarded to Dave, and fans were relieved after his bake in the previous episode was accidentally knocked over by fellow contestant Sura. In the losing corner was Makbul, who was sent packing by the judges.
Episode 3 - Bread Week
The series’ third episode saw Marc crowned star baker and viewers were touched by his reunion with his daughters as they became part of the Bake Off ‘bubble’. It was the end of the road though for music teacher Rowan, who failed to impress Paul and Prue.
Prefer buying your sweet treats to making them yourself? Check out the best bakeries in London.