British bake off 2018

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How The Great British Baking Show has changed with its new hosts and judge

BBC’s Great British Bake-Off is no more. The show (known as The Great British Baking Show on this side of the Atlantic) has moved to the private station Channel 4 in England and with the transfer, there’s been a major, heartbreaking exit of talent. Gone are Mel and Sue with their innuendo and perfect blazers, and Mary Berry with her high standards and predilection for bakers who use slightly too much alcohol.

With the exception of Paul Hollywood (the only of the original GBBO fab four to stick with the program), the once comfortingly familiar tent is now filled with strangers — new hosts Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig, and new judge Prue Leith.

It’s a Twilight Zone version of Baking Show where the tent is the same, and the catchphrases are identical, but the people saying them are unfamiliar. It’s a strange juxtaposition, especially when Paul always came across (at least to me) as the least likable member of the original group. The type of guy who wears too much hair gel and seems like he drives a red sports car (and that was before I saw the photo of him dressed as a Nazi for a costume party in 2003, for which he’s recently apologized).

His remaining with the Great British Baking Show while the other cast members remained loyal to the BBC had a whiff of opportunism.

But now, Paul is the beautiful, blue-eyed lifeline to the old iteration of the show. His familiar face is the bridge that keeps season 8 of The Great British Baking from feeling like it’s entirely through the looking glass.

Image zoom PBS

Fielding and Toksvig are obviously attempting to create a similar feel to the performances of Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins: Like Mel and Sue, the new duo opens the show with a cheesy, groan-worthy sketch, and sprinkle the episode with as much innuendo as possible. At times, the effort seems a little self-conscious, as if Sandi knows baking-related innuendo is a necessary part of the job and not her natural sense of humor. “Cheekily, do not worry about leaving a bare bottom,” she said, referring to iced Swiss rolls. Somehow, calling out the line as cheeky in advance negates the cheekiness. Mel and Sue operated their innuendo with a literal or metaphorical eyebrow raise that made their lines feel improvised. For now, Sandi remains a little stiff, and her chemistry with Noel — let’s just say Paul Hollywood might call it under-proved.

Noel, however, is delightful in his own right, able to bring a zaniness that feels like something unique to him and not an imitation of Mel and Sue’s way of behaving. His interactions with the contestants are a bright spot that gives me hope for his future as a host.

As for Prue, well… Prue isn’t Mary Berry. Mary took on a near-mythic persona in her role as the all-knowing matriarch of the tent. In the vein of Ina Garten, Mary Berry has ascended to pop culture icon, the meme-able grandmother we all wish we had. Most importantly, it felt as though she had an unspoken superiority over Paul Hollywood. Her partnership with Paul elevated him beyond the sometimes seemingly overconfident schoolboy who takes bread way too seriously. Their dynamic worked. Now, with Prue, Paul is unquestionably the senior member of the pairing. His handshakes are the coveted reward for a miraculously good bake. There is no icon to impress, even as the show itself necessitates forcing Paul into that role.

In Prue’s first one-on-one introduction for the camera, she mentioned that a cake had to be “worth the calories.” That moment alone, just a few minutes into the season 8 premiere, put a bad taste in my mouth. The Great British Bake Off isn’t about calories; the tent creates a magical world where baking is a pure and friendly thing. All that matters is that something looks good and that it tastes good, and the ultimate purpose of baked goods are to make people happy. Referencing calories breaks the fantasy, ripping the viewer out of the mythical English countryside — where we’d live in a cottage like Kate Winslet in The Holiday and wear galoshes and have a fireplace and drink tea — and drops us right back onto our couches where we’ve been watching Netflix for the past four hours and really need to go to the gym. Prue broke the spell of the Great British Bake Off first by not being Mary Berry, and next by reminding us that cake is a tangible thing, not just a symbol.

But for all of the cast’s shakeups, the show itself is still almost exactly the same. There’s still the signature bake and the technical challenge, and someone always screwing up on the technical challenge, and the improbably beautiful showstoppers. The tent is still bunted with the Union Jack, and the cast is still students and architects and scientists and grandmothers who just love to bake. This show is still delicious, calming comfort food, Xanax in television form, and an escape from a world with much bigger problems than pies with soggy bottoms. Change is always frustrating and scary, especially when that change comes to the one thing that’s supposed to be an institution, the thing that’s never supposed to change. But even on a new network, even with new hosts, even without Mary Berry, this is still the Great British Bake Off.

Thank goodness.

Great British Bake Off 2018: What to expect in the new series

Channel 4 The Bake Off line-up return after a successful first outing on Channel 4 in 2017

Ready, set, bake!

Great British Bake Off will be back on our screens tonight – and we can’t wait for it to start.

Here’s everything you need to know about the new series.

1. Paul and Prue are back as judgesChannel 4 Prue Leith joins Paul Hollywood again as a judge this season

Judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood are back to cast their eye over the contestants’ creations.

Paul has been a judge since the show started in 2010 and this will be his eighth series.

Prue is back for her second series since joining the team last year.

2. Sandi and Noel will host againChannel 4 Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding have formed an unlikely double act

Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding will also return as hosts.

Expect Sandi and Noel, who are both comedians, to bring the jokes!

3. There will be a whole set of new contestantsPA Meet this year’s bakers

Twelve new baking hopefuls will be taking to the tent to show off their skills.

A techno DJ, research scientist and banker are just three of the contestants vying for this year’s Great British Bake Off crown.

Meet all of the 12 new Bake Off contestants by clicking here.

One thing we know is that they’ll have to be brilliant bakers to top last year’s winner Sophie Faldo!

4. There might be a vegan weekScience Photo Library Will the contestants have to swap ingredients like milk for vegan alternatives?

There are rumours that this year’s series will feature a vegan week – after Noel suggested the idea to the show’s producers.

That might mean the contestants have to swap milk and cheese for other ingredients like kale and tofu.

You’ll have to tune in to find out.

5. But there’s still no Junior Bake Off

The kids’ edition of the hit baking show ran on CBBC in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016.

But when Channel 4 snapped up the series from the BBC in 2016, it decided not to buy Junior Bake Off as well.

However, The Sun reported earlier this year that there are plans to bring the junior version back to our screens in 2019 but Channel 4 has not confirmed any news yet.

The Great British Bake Off will begin on Tuesday 28 August on Channel 4 at 8pm

Everyone’s favourite baking show The Great British Bake Off returned to our screens this year following a successful series in 2017 starring new judge Prue Leith and new hosts Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig.

Here’s everything you need to know about the 2018 series, including information about the bakers and the winning contestant…

The Great British Bake Off 2018: The Judges and hosts

It was confirmed back in November 2017 that Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood would return as judges, and that Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig would reprise their roles as hosts.

The newly-formed judging and hosting team proved a success after Mary Berry, Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc decided not to move with Bake Off from the BBC to Channel 4.

Channel 4

Announcing she’d continue her GBBO judging duties in 2018, Prue took to social media to say she was “thrilled”.

The Great British Bake Off 2018: The contestants

Antony, 30 – eliminated in week three

Mark Bourdillon / Love ProductionsChannel 4

Describing himself as a “Bollywood baker”, Antony grew up in India, where he learned to bake with his father. It is his father who remains his inspiration – it’s thanks to him that Antony got serious about baking. Antony’s adventurous attitude to flavour profiling is the result of a willingness to try new foods, his determination to ask probing questions of established bakers, and – in particular – his cultural roots and his travels around the world.

Briony, 33 – eliminated in week nine

Mark Bourdillon / Love ProductionsChannel 4

Born and raised in Bristol, Briony is a self-taught baker, inspired by her Nan’s baking wisdom and motivated by her determination never to let anything defeat her. Using YouTube tutorials to help her learn specific techniques, Briony has been baking seriously since 2013.

Dan, 36 – eliminated in week six

Mark Bourdillon / Love ProductionsChannel 4

A self-confessed perfectionist, Dan considers aesthetic one of the most important aspects of his bakes – he begins every creation with the aim of making it not just delicious, but also a thing of beauty. While that can cause stress during the cooking and making itself, he aims for well thought-through results, with every bake created with a genuine and knowledgeable appreciation for the process. He is a full-time father to two small children, so home-baking is part of his everyday life. He sees it as a means to create family memories, as well as family mealtimes.

Imelda, 33 – eliminated in week one

Mark Bourdillon / Love ProductionsChannel 4

Imelda is one of four siblings and grew up in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, where she learned to cook and bake from her mother, in their family home. Now juggling a busy job and family life, Imelda spends her evenings and weekends making soda breads, biscuits and treats for her father and son, and cakes that she takes into work to share with her colleagues.

Jon, 47 – eliminated in week seven

Mark Bourdillon / Love ProductionsChannel 4

Welshman Jon loves nothing more than spending quality family time with his wife and four children and bakes in the kitchen as a way to relax after a hard day’s work. He loves a showy bake – and a showy Hawaiian shirt, too – and loves wowing friends and family with his creations.

Karen, 60 – eliminated in week five

Mark Bourdillon / Love ProductionsChannel 4

Karen began her love affair with baking during the 15 years in which she and her husband owned a house in France. Although she had baked with her mum since she was little, it was the local French patisserie that really inspired her. Now, she can knock up profiteroles, Religieuse buns, tartes au citron, and even foot long eclairs to rival any French bakery.

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Kim-Joy, 27 – runner up

Mark Bourdillon / Love ProductionsChannel 4

Kim-Joy’s birthday falls on World Baking Day, which she takes as the surest sign there can be that she was born to bake. Born in Belgium to an English father and Malaysian–Chinese mother, she grew up in London, studied in both Bristol and Leeds, and now lives in Leeds with her partner.

Luke, 30 – eliminated in week two

Mark Bourdillon / Love ProductionsChannel 4

Some of Luke’s earliest memories are standing on a mini step ladder so that he could reach the worktop to help his Nan bake. He has been baking independently since he was a mere 10 years old, making Victoria sponges, fruit cobblers and chocolate cake for his family. Now, inspired by early morning cookery shows and his travels throughout Europe and North America, he has tried his hand at almost every baking discipline going. His minimal and clutter-free attitude to life is reflected in the things he creates – his bakes are clean and precise.

Manon, 26 – eliminated in week eight

Mark Bourdillon / Love ProductionsChannel 4

Born and raised in France, Manon learned to bake with her mother and grandmother, who made everything from scratch – from breads to desserts and biscuits. However, although she grew up in a foodie French family, it was in London that Manon found her passion for baking, arriving in the city to work as an au pair and being blown away by the style and variety of bakeries that the city has to offer.

Rahul, 30 – winner

Mark Bourdillon / Love ProductionsChannel 4

Rahul grew up in Kolkata, surrounded by his family, and moved to the UK on a university scholarship when he was 23. Once here, he discovered an abundance of new flavours and cuisines that have inspired his ‘East-meets-West’-style of baking. As a research scientist, Rahul’s instinct is to undertake every bake with a forensic attitude to research and an uncompromising attention to detail. He is fascinated by the science of baking, but also loves to ensure (or at least try) that his creations are beautiful, full of flavour and structurally elegant, too.

Ruby, 29 – runner up

Mark Bourdillon / Love ProductionsChannel 4

Growing up as part of an Indian family, the youngest of four children, Ruby remembers childhood baking being about her mum making Jalebi’s, an Indian sweet. Now she loves to gather friends and family together to indulge in her cakes and pastries, as well as her infamous spicy minced lamb pastry rolls. Her baking style is pretty relaxed and boozy and she will always try to sneak some into whatever she is making.

Terry, 56 – eliminated in week five

Mark Bourdillon / Love ProductionsChannel 4

Terry’s background as a prosthetic technician, as well as spoils from his own microbrewery and allotment, are all evident in his baking – particularly in the precision, science and flavour of his creations. The design and craftsmanship in Terry’s bakes are a testament to his background in fine art. However, it is family that lies at the heart of Terry’s baking journey. As a small child Terry learned to bake with his grandmother; while his dad taught him how to bake bread and make pastry when he was only 10 years old. And it was his daughters, who finally encouraged him to take the plunge and apply for The Great British Bake Off.

The Great British Bake Off 2018: When is it on TV?

The series premiered on Tuesday 28 August at 8pm.

“The Great British Baking Show” returned to PBS this week, although whether it returned on Friday, Saturday or Sunday depends on the whims of your local station. When the show debuted stateside in 2015, it was part of a growing movement in reality TV that rejected the callousness long associated with the genre. Instead, fans discovered that a reality competition could still find drama while treating contestants in a humane fashion.

But as the rest of reality TV catches up with “Baking Show,” the series finds itself with an ugly problem it’s tried desperately to ignore. Behind-the-scenes backbiting has left the series running out of episodes — and most of its American audience doesn’t even know it yet.

Behind-the-scenes backbiting has left the series running out of episodes — and its American audience doesn’t even know it yet.

“The Great British Baking Show” is known as “The Great British Bake Off” (or GBBO) overseas — you can blame Pillsbury’s trademark for the change. It first aired in 2010 as a one-off, six-episode special. As much a “history of baking in Britain” as it was a reality competition, the first season included long segments discussing the history of various baked goods. Seeing potential, however, the BBC poured money into it, tweaking the format in subsequent seasons to be less historical and more competitive. The show was also startlingly considerate towards its contestants. This was partly enforced by the hosts: Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc famously walked off set after the producers tried to manufacture drama and made a contestant cry. The judges also were far sympathetic than most, especially Mary Berry.

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By season five, GBBO’s gentle show had become so popular that the BBC moved it from the food-and-home themed BBC Two channel to its flagship BBC One. The commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, also leased first run rights to PBS, starting with the first BBC One season.

Here’s where it gets a bit confusing, because the first BBC One season was actually the fifth season back in the UK. PBS ran season five under the “Baking Show” moniker starting at the end of December 2014. But when PBS asked for a new season for 2015, there was nothing ready, so it wound up airing season four that fall instead. Since then, PBS has followed BBC’s once-a-year-in-summer model, airing (in this order) GBBO seasons five, four, six and then seven. When asked about the original first three seasons, PBS said it was doubtful they would ever come to the states.

But the out-of-order seasons were not the only thing quietly amiss at “Baking Show,” however. While on screen the show may practice and preach benevolence, the people behind the scenes have proven to be as ruthless as the competitors on “Survivor.” When season seven debuted in the UK in 2016 to a larger audience than Rio’s Olympic opening ceremony, Love Productions, who produces the series, demanded the BBC pay it £25 million to continue airing the show, or else.

This was money the BBC simply didn’t have. PBS gets some government subsidies, but much of its programming relies on the whims of philanthropic billionaires, corporations looking for tax write offs, and of course, Viewers Like You. (This is one reason why the stations are not required to stick to the national schedule, and why — though “Baking Show” is supposed to air on Fridays at 9 p.m., fans should check their local listings.) The BBC, on the other hand, is 100 percent dependent on the government, with a charter than gets approved regularly by Parliament. Currently, £25 million is more than half of the entire operating budget of BBC Four.

While on screen the show may practice and preach benevolence, the people behind the scenes have proven to be as ruthless as the competitors on “Survivor.”

When the BBC called Love Productions’ bluff, the company walked and took GBBO to the commercial Channel 4. There was just one problem: no one involved with the show was actually locked into a contract. Appalled by the cash grab, BBC loyalists Mary Berry and hosts Sue and Mel quit within days. As the hosts said in a statement: “We’re not going with the dough.” Judge Paul Hollywood was the only one who didn’t have anything keeping him to the BBC. He’s also the least nice of anyone involved, so fans may not be surprised that he was fine with it.

The drama would have seemed typical at another reality show, perhaps, but it ran counter to everything GBBO was supposed to stand for. Worse, one of the replacement hosts, Noel Fielding, was the subject of a recent blackface scandal. PBS knew it wasn’t going to get away with that in the U.S.

Oddly, however, PBS has decided to deal with the situation by pretending it never happened. Rather than make a deal with Channel 4 to bring season eight to the U.S., it decided to skip back to season three. In other words, in the real world, there are new hosts and Prue Leith stands next to Paul Hollywood judging the food. In PBS’ world nothing has changed, because American viewers will be watching a season that aired in the UK in 2012.

In the real world, there are new hosts and Prue Leith stands next to Paul Hollywood judging the food. In PBS’ world nothing has changed.

Meanwhile, over the in UK, GBBO is thriving on Channel 4. It’s slightly less good-natured than it used to be, but not so much that viewers complain. Predictably, other series which are clearly inspired by the “Baking Show” model are springing up, like NBC’s reality crafting series “Making It,” hosted by Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman. A spirit of positivity is infecting shows like “The Voice.” Even Bravo has taken back “Project Runway” for a milder, more fashion-focused reboot.

Love Productions and the BBC have also somewhat made up. When GBBO left, all the current spin-offs the two had created over the years were suspended as well. Now they are back in production with a new season of the GBBO spin-off series, “The Great British Sewing Bee.” (No word if they’ll also bring back GBBO’s other spin-off “The Great Pottery Throw Down,” but here’s hoping.) But what exactly PBS and BBC Worldwide are going to do going forward with a rapidly decreasing stockpile of GBBO episodes is still very much up in the air.

This stop-gap measure will work for at least one more year (season two is still unaired in the U.S.) but then either they’ll need a replacement or will have to accept the show is over in the states, even as it continues to air in the U.K. Either way, this year’s season marks the beginning of the end for a series that taught Americans that reality shows could actually be the nicest shows on earth. Too bad they couldn’t practice behind the scenes what they preach on screen.

Once again, things are going wrong for The Great British Bake Off. It only seems like yesterday that the show ditched BBC One for Channel 4, shedding its most beloved personnel in the process. And now things have taken a dive once more. Sandi Toksvig, the woman brought in to shore up Bake Off in the absence of Mel and Sue, has announced that she too is leaving the series.

In a statement, Toksvig said: “As my waistline will testify, Bake Off is an all-consuming show. Spending time with Prue, Paul and Noel has been one of the great pleasures of my life. These are friendships which I know will continue beyond the confines of television.” Which is nice and all, but it isn’t going to bring her back.

With a new series of Bake Off set to air later this year, the clock is ticking to find her replacement. Who should it be?

A professional host

Even in its diminished capacity on Channel 4, Bake Off is still a plum job for a host to have. Imagine the joy of seeing, say, Claudia Winkleman step up to replace Sandi. Or Melanie Sykes, for that matter, who has been doing a terrific job on the basically identical Great Pottery Throw Down on More 4. If the channel want to keep things within its own stable, they could always pick Richard Ayoade – who has a long working history with Noel Fielding – or Davina McCall or Steph McGovern or Big Narstie. Jeremy Paxman dabbles with Channel 4 from time to time. Could this be a job for him?

A former contestant

Could his nerves handle it? … Rahul Mandal. Photograph: Love Productions/Channel 4

There is, of course, the opportunity for Bake Off to utilise its greatest asset, which is its army of former contestants. Perhaps Nadiya Hussain could bring some behind the scenes knowledge to the front of the show. Or Selasi Gbormittah. Could Rahul Mandal’s nerves hold up for long enough to keep him in front of camera? What about Candice, Tamal, Howard, Mary-Anne, or any of the others? If nothing else, they’d be much cheaper than a seasoned presenter.

Noel Fielding

Would it be the end of the world if he went solo? … Noel Fielding. Photograph: Channel 4/Love Productions/Mark Bourdillon/PA

Remember back when the new Bake Off line-up was announced, and you saw that Noel Fielding was going to host, and you remembered the nothingy whimsy of Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy? Remember how appalled you were to learn that your beloved cake show was going to be presented by a man whose only contribution to culture was a kind of mindless burbling psychedelia? And then remember when you first saw Fielding presenting Bake Off? Remember how amazing he was? Remember how bad you felt for never noticing his perfectly judged sense of warmth and charm? Now ask yourself this: would it be the end of the world if Fielding presented The Great British Bake Off alone? Of course it wouldn’t. It would be excellent.

Mel and Sue

The nuclear option? … Mel and Sue. Photograph: Pål Hansen/The Observer

The nuclear option for Bake Off, of course, would be to sack Fielding too and spend all the money on Earth to regain the services of the show’s original hosts Mel and Sue. It isn’t unthinkable that they would, nor is it unthinkable that Mel and Sue would accept. However, it is my opinion that this should not happen. Bake Off has moved on without Mel and Sue. True, the magic of the old days has started to fade, but not even Mel and Sue could revive it at this point. In this instance, we should probably let bygones be bygones.

Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding are the new hosts of ‘The Great British Bake Off’

Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding. PA

Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding are to replace Mel and Sue as the new hosts of “The Great British Bake Off.”

The comedians will be joined by new judge Prue Leith, who will fill the shoes of Mary Berry as the UK’s biggest television show moves from the BBC to Channel 4 this year. Paul Hollywood will also reprise his judging duties.

The new line-up has been the source of wild speculation in the British press and Channel 4 confirmed the talent team in a press release on Thursday afternoon. The broadcaster also confirmed that “Bake Off” will return in the autumn.

“Paul and Prue have huge amounts of expertise and warmth,” said Channel 4 chief creative officer Jay Hunt. “Sandi and Noel bring a fresh wit and quirkiness to the tent. It’s just the sort of innovative lineup audiences expect from Channel 4.”

Toksvig currently hosts “QI” for the BBC, while Fielding is perhaps best known for his work on BBC3 comedy “The Mighty Boosh” and, more recently, he was a team captain on “Never Mind the Buzzcocks.”

Prue Leith. Getty

They face a sizeable task in replacing comedy double act Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, who quit “Bake Off” last year in protest of its £75 million ($100 million) move from the BBC to Channel 4.

“It is an extraordinary honour to be part of this national treasure of a show. Noel Fielding is one of the nicest guys in show business,” Toksvig said.

Fielding added: “I’ve always loved brightly coloured cakes and Sandi Toksvig so this is a dream come true for me! It’s basically the double.”

Berry left the programme under similar circumstances. She will be replaced by Prue Leith, who is currently a judge on BBC2 show “Great British Menu.”

Leith said: “I am just so thrilled to be joining Paul, Sandi and Noel on the biggest show on TV and I cannot wait to see what the real stars of the show — the bakers — are going to create for us.”

Great British Bake Off 2018 contestants: Meet the semi-finalists

One fact about Kim-Joy: Kim-Joy was born in Belgium to an English father and Malaysian–Chinese mother, she grew up in London, studied in both Bristol and Leeds, and now lives in Leeds with her partner.

Most likely to see: Experimenting

She says: “None of my family really bake, it’s just me that bakes. My friends have always wanted me to apply, but I didn’t feel confident enough to apply until this year.”

When did you start baking? “When I was a child I used to have to make mince pies at Christmas, and I hated mince pies. But everyone else raved about them! So I started realising that baking was a way for me to fit in and to make people like me, and essentially that is what we all want!”

What is your signature bake? “For special occasions I like to always create something new! I’m not really a fan of making the same thing twice unless I’m tweaking it in some way.”

How will you watch the first episode? “I’d be tempted to make the showstopper again but maybe a miniature version. I love miniature things!”

Rahul – Star baker week two and three

New baker Rahul (Image: Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions)

Age: 30

Hometown: Rotherham

Job: Research scientist

One fact about Rahul: He grew up in Kolkata and moved to the UK at 23, with both countries inspiring hi ‘East meets West’ style of baking.

Most likely to see: Classics with a twist

He says: “Colleagues I knew during my PhD don’t have a clue that I can bake. Back in India I didn’t bake either. All of them and actually myself are surprised that I made it into the tent.”

When did you start baking? “Even as a child, rather than watching sports, I enjoyed watching cookery shows. I never baked when I was in India. My baking journey began in the UK about five years ago when I was feeling lonely. The first cake I made was about two years ago, when my parents visited the UK for the first time.”

What is your signature bake? “I like the simple classics, sometimes with a little twist in it. My colleagues love my Lemon drizzle cake and its cousins like Lemon and cardamom drizzle cake, or lemon and elderflower drizzle cake – they like them a lot.”

Sweet or savoury? “Savoury for sure. Even last night I had a piece of lemon drizzle cake, but then felt like I need to have something else. So had a bit of left over curry.”

Ruby – Star baker week eight

New baker Ruby (Image: Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions)

Age: 29

Hometown: London

Job: Project manager

One fact about Ruby: Ruby lived with seven male housemates and university, and her love of baking flourished from cooking and baking for them.

Most likely to see: Brilliant breads

She says: “Baking and music go hand in hand at home; I will always have music blaring, so it’s a pretty lively affair. I don’t like people stepping into my kitchen at home trying to ‘help’, it’s my zone – let me do my thing and then after you can enjoy the treats!”

When did you start baking? “I only really caught the baking bug around the end of 2016. I remember making a black forest cake and looking around at the kitchen which looked like a total bomb site but this gorgeous cake sitting amongst the mess and it didn’t look too shabby!”

Which Judge did you want to impress most? “Let’s be honest – Paul hasn’t smiled since like 1983 so he wasn’t on my radar to impress! I really wanted to impress Prue though, I have admired her for a long time so was super keen, possibly borderline needy ha ha.”

Favourite bake? “Aside from cake, I absolutely love making bread. Something so satisfying and rewarding from spending hours on mixing, kneading, proving, shaping, proving and finally baking (fully aware I sound like I have no life but carbs are life).

“I could easily live off leftover Christmas dinner sandwiches drenched in homemade gravy for the rest of my life!”

Manon – Out week eight

New baker Manon (Image: Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions)

Age: 26

Hometown: London

Job: Software project manager

One fact about Manon: She was born and raised in France, but it wasn’t until she moved to London as an au pair when she really got into baking.

Most likely to see: Extraordinary icing

She says: “When me and my best friend came to England, Bake Off was one of the first shows we watched together on TV. My best friend and flatmate, and my closest girlfriends that have always rooted for me and supported me throughout my baking journey.”

When did you start baking? “I grew up in a family where food is E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G so from a very young age me and my sister would always help mum or grandmas preparing the food and also desserts. But I seriously got into baking when I came to the UK where I fell in love with cake decorating and cupcakes.”

Sweet or savoury? “I always have a second stomach for pudding. But bread and butter would always be my top craving when I am hungry!”

Favourite bake? “My favourite thing is to work with icing, so anything that involves icing.”

Antony – Out week three

New baker Antony (Image: Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions)

Age: 30

Hometown: London

Job: Banker

One fact about Antony: He grew up in India, where he learned to bake with his father, and he is “adventurous” about flavour.

Most likely to see: Sweet and savoury combos

He says : “All of my friends back home in India will be really surprised I’m on GBBO. They have known me to be a singer in a choir, a two piece band but never as a baker, so it will be interesting to see their reaction.”

Who has inspired you? “As a little kid I was always in awe of my dad who made the best Christmas cakes and pizzas back home in India.”

Which Judge did you want to impress most? “I surely wanted to impress both Blue eyes and lovely Prue. Prue takes the cake on this one with her wealth of knowledge in the food industry. So her taste buds were top priority.”

Sweet or savoury? ” I think sweet with a savoury twist like a mango chilli jam 😉 or a saffron swiss meringue buttercream.”

Favourite bake? “A lovely eclair with an interesting melt in the mouth filling topped with an exciting glace on the top.”

Dan – Out week six

New baker Dan (Image: Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions)

Age: 36

Hometown: London

Job: Full-time parent

One fact about Dan: He is a self-confessed “perfectionist,” and begins every creations with the aim of making it not just delicious, but also a thing of beauty.

Most likely to see: Spruced up family favourites

He says: “I bake in the little spare time that I have, and often work on bakes over the course of several days. I never work to strict time constraints like those in the tent, so that was a real challenge for me.”

Who encouraged you to apply? “I’ve wanted to take part in The Great British Bake Off for a while, and didn’t need much encouragement! My husband has been my biggest supporter throughout the experience.”

When did you start baking? “My mother taught me to bake when I was a small child, but I had a renewed interest about six years ago when we decided to have a family of our own.”

Which Judge did you want to impress most? “Whilst Paul tends to be more harsh in his critiques, Prue is equally discerning; I knew I would need to impress both of them.”

What’s your Desert Island Dish? “My desert island dish would probably be a simple pain de mie – I don’t think I could live without bread!”

Imelda – Out week one

New baker Imelda (Image: Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions)

Age: 33

Hometown: County Tyrone, Northern Ireland

Job: Countryside recreation officer

One fact about Imelda: She is one of four siblings and grew up learning to cook and bake from her mum in the family home, and is still surrounded by a big family.

Most likely to see: Traditional

She says: “If I had to invent a new crisp flavour, it would be chocolate and cheese onion, it’s the best sweet and sour combination.”

Who has inspired you? ” I’ve been fortunate to grow up in a family of bakers… my mum, my grannies and my aunties are all handy in the kitchen. My mum in particular has been such an inspiration. I love sitting down with my aunties even now and having a good chinwag about recipes we’re using or new things they’re trying.”

Sweet or savoury? ” Sweet. Always. My sweet tooth is my absolute nemesis and if there was one thing I’d change about myself that would be it.”

Favourite bake? “Bread. Sweet or savoury bread is the bizz. There is nothing in this world like freshly baked bread….white loaf, sour dough, fruit loaf, wheaten…bread is amazing! Is there anything better than bread and butter?!”

Jon – Out week seven

New baker Jon (Image: Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions)

Age: 47

Hometown: Newport, Wales

Job: Blood courier

One fact about Jon: He loves a showy bake – and a showy Hawaiian shirt too – and loves wowing friends and family with his creations which often see him experimenting with new techniques.

Most likely to see: OTT themed bakes

He says: “One of the things I have learnt through this process is don’t make anything too complicated, so I think my illusion cake would have to be a breakfast, a full Welsh! So bacon, eggs, sausage, black pudding and lava bread.”

Who encouraged you to apply? “My wife, Debbie – I could not have done any of this without her.”

When did you start baking? “I’ve been cooking for 15/16 years, ever since I would try and cook a romantic meal for Debbie when we first got together! The baking came after that as I just loved to try and create new things.”

What is your signature bake? “I love to make marshmallows!! However, I am also known for my elaborate and fun cakes, for parties. My favourites are the “severed mummy’s leg” (AKA raspberry roulade) for Halloween and a giant Prosecco cake for my wife’s birthday last year!”

Karen – Out week five

New baker Karen (Image: Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions)

Age: 60

Hometown: West Yorkshire

Job: In-store sampling assistant

One fact about Karen: Karen began her love affair with baking during the 15 years she and her husband owned a house in France. Now, she can knock up foot long eclairs to rival any French bakery.

Most likely to see: Multi-tasking… at speed

She says: “I was approaching 60 and I found it really liberating to do something like this. As you get older you feel less inhibited, and think does it matter if you make a fool of yourself.”

Who encouraged you to apply? ” I dared myself to start the application process as my first challenge to celebrate my 60th birthday year. My daughters helped by proof reading for me and putting in some punctuation and full sentences as I get carried away writing at speed – as I do baking at speed and doing more than one thing at a time!”

When did you start baking? ” As a child of maybe eight or nine my Mam started training me to be a housewife (she failed) so she taught me the very basics – how to fold in flour in cakes and how to keep pastry tender – that type of thing. Then it was a big gap of many years before I tried some less typical everyday stuff.”

What’s your Desert Island Dish? “It would have to be one of my Rich Fruit Christmas cakes, a massive one maybe several tiers so it would keep us going and not go off while we wait to be rescued.”

The Great British Bake Off 2018

Luke – Out week two

New baker Luke (Image: Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions)

Age: 30

Hometown: Sheffield

Job: Civil servant and house/techno DJ

One fact about Luke: He has been baking independently since he was a mere 10 years old, making Victoria sponges, fruit cobblers and chocolate cake for his family.

Most likely to see: Using celebrity inspiration

He says: “I love to have music playing and always have my sous-chef (aka my dog Oscar) waiting patiently by my side for something to drop on the floor that he can eat before I have a chance to stop him!”

Who has inspired you? “My nan literally bakes every day (not even joking) so she has been a massive inspiration. I’ve always been a massive fan of Jamie Oliver too and when I was a teenager he inspired me to get in the kitchen and I vividly remember wanting to be just like him!”

Favourite bake? “I absolutely love making bread – all types of bread. I find it amazing how you can take such simple ingredients like flour and yeast and mix them together to create something so tasty and delicious.”

Are you looking forward to seeing yourself on television? “I’m absolutely dreading seeing myself on TV, I’ll be so embarrassed. I just hope everyone watching at home can understand my heavy Yorkshire accent – wouldn’t surprise me if there’s subtitles on the screen whenever I talk haha!”

Terry – Out week five

New baker Terry (Image: Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions)

Age: 56

Hometown: West Midlands

Job: Retired air steward

One fact about Terry: Terry loves to use the spoils from his own microbrewery and allotment in his bakes, as well as his background as a prosthetic technician to add a bit of science.

Most likely to see: Cakes with a kick

He says: “I have made a few illusion cakes in the past, but I would like to make an inlaid wooden box, like a jewellery box, inspired by my love of carpentry. The inspiration would be my love of antiques, I collect a lot of junk!”

What is your signature bake? “I make a double chocolate and cherry gateaux with amaretti and that’s a firm family favourite.”

Favourite bake… and your Desert Island Dish? “My favourite bake to make is a rich Game Pie made from pheasant, duck or venison as a winter warmer pie. If I was stuck on a Desert Island I would want something to cheer me up like Tipsy Tart which would have lots of brandy so it would keep it preserved and keep me going.”

Are you looking forward to seeing yourself on television? “I am not really looking forward to seeing myself. I have a motor home, I might just escape somewhere!”

The Great British Bake Off airs on Tuesdays on Channel 4 at 8pm.

Born in Belgium, growing up in London and now living in Leeds with her partner, Kim-Joy’s mixed heritage of an English father and Malaysian-Chinese mother is reflected in her eclectic baking. Her particular passion however, is bread.

Why did you go into the tent?

‘None of my family really bake, it’s just me that bakes. My friends have always wanted me to apply, but I didn’t feel confident enough to apply until this year. I went into the tent mostly for myself to see if I could it!’

What illusion cake would you make?

‘I love miniatures so I think I would make a magnifying glass with a chocolate handle, and 12 mini bakers wearing brown bake off aprons under the glass. I think I would prefer to do something that wasn’t completely realistic though, as I enjoy having the freedom to create my own twist on things!’

Ruby looked after everyone’s baking needs in university (Picture: Channel 4)

Age: 29

Job: Project Manager

Ruby’s baking love emerged after becoming the household ‘mother’ at university, cooking for her seven housemates. Growing up in an Indian family as the youngest of four children, she associates her childhood with her mum making an Indian sweet called Jalebi’s. She now lives in London.

When do you bake at home and how different is your kitchen to the tent?

‘My kitchen is very different to the tent; it’s very spacious and has a lovely breeze coming through! Baking and music go hand in hand at home; I will always have music blaring, so it’s a pretty lively affair. I don’t like people stepping into my kitchen at home trying to ‘help’, it’s my zone – let me do my thing and then after you can enjoy the treats!’

What illusion cake would you make?

‘I love sandwiches and burgers, and eat far too many of them, so I think I would definitely tackle a burger with the full works included – super soft ‘brioche bun’ sponge covered in fondant with marzipan for the lettuce, tomato, onion, gherkin with a side of white chocolate stick fries and plenty of buttercream tomato ketchup of course. Sounds like carb heaven.’

Great British Bake Off returns on Tuesday 28 August on Channel 4 8pm.

MORE: The Great British Bake Off 2018 start date confirmed – when is it, who are the judges and is there a trailer?

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Dust off those aprons, because The Great British Bake Off 2019 will be here before you know it.

We may be basking in the celebrity edition right now, but Channel 4 has already confirmed that we have at least three more civilian versions to sink our teeth into.

Channel 4

Related: All of The Great British Bake Off series, ranked

That means plenty of opportunity for Noel Fielding to out-shirt himself, Prue Leith can continue her quest to find the perfect piece of neck candy and, of course, we’ll have even more great excuses to scoff as much cake as we want. #Winning.

Here’s everything we know about GBBO series 10 so far.

Great British Bake Off 2019 start date: When does it return?

Channel 4

It’s way too early for official news on this, but history suggests that the 2019 offering will arrive at some point in August.

Great British Bake Off 2019 contestants: How do I apply?

Love Productions

Applications opened once series nine finished, but unfortunately they are now closed.

With every new series comes a fresh batch of bakers and, having been renewed to at least 2021, there will be plenty more opportunities to try out for a Hollywood Handshake.

Great British Bake Off 2019 judges: Are Prue and Paul returning?

Channel 4

As two key ingredients (sorry), it would be a pretty big deal if Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith weren’t in the mix.

With no news or announcements to say otherwise, we think it’s safe to assume that these two will be back to criticise all those soggy bottoms.

Great British Bake Off 2019 hosts: What about Sandi and Noel?

Channel 4

Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding have fast become the double act we never knew we needed.

With the BBC move (and Mel and Sue) now a distant memory, we just don’t think Bake Off would be the same without them.

Great British Bake Off 2019 changes: Will there be any shake-ups?


It’s a format that the nation has come to know and love.

But with last year’s offering dishing up the show’s first ever vegan week as well as an outdoor final, and Sandi recently stepping in as a last-minute contestant, we’d expect to see a few more curveballs along the way.

Great British Bake Off winner: Who came out on top in 2018?

Channel 4

Rahul Mandal was the winner of the 2018 series, just beating Ruby Bhogal and Kim-Joy.

We have every hope that the 2019 offering will be jam-packed with vibrant personality once again.

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Ready, set, BAKE…

The Great British Bake Off will return later this year on Channel 4. Junior Bake Off will also join the channel some time in 2019.

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