The Great British Bake Off, is a British television baking competition produced by Love Productions. In this competition, amateur bakers compete against one another, attempting to impress chosen judges in a series of bake-off challenges. At the end of each challenge, one contestant has to go home, and this continues until the winner is selected. The show first aired in August 2010 and BBC Two aired its first four seasons. The show’s increasing popularity caused BBC to move it to BBC One, where the next three seasons aired. At the end of the seventh season, Love Productions signed a three-year deal with Channel 4 to produce the show.
Originally the show was presented by Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc with judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. Following the move to Channel 4, the current presenters are Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig with Hollywood and Prue Leith as judges. With over 6 million views as of November 2018, the Great British Bake Off show is fascinating. What’s even more exciting are these 10 facts about the show you probably did not know:
1. There Are No Cash Prizes:
You may not have noticed this, but there is no cash prize to be worn by participants in The Great British Bake Off. Unlike most reality shows that offer cash prizes, participants of The Great British Bake Off are not promised and do not receive cash rewards for their participation in the show. Even the winners get nothing.
As a reward for winning, winners only receive a bunch of flowers and a cake stand. The lucky ones go on to receive endorsements and book deals, but the show does not sponsor these additional prizes.
2. The Budget Does Not Cover All Ingredients:
The budget given to the show’s participants is minimal and is more than often stretched thin. As a result, participants often end up having to use their funds to cover their expenses on ingredients used during the show. Each contestant receives a small budget for their cakes until they get to the final where Channel 4 covers all costs.
So if they want organic products, crystallized fennel seeds, then they have to dig deep into their wallets. So do not go on assuming it’s all paid for.
3. The Application process is Grueling:
Getting into The Great British Bake Off is not as easy as it might sound. Candidates must first go through a lengthy interview process. Auditions go on for several weeks. After filling out the application form, the next stage is a telephone interview with a researcher. After which they have to come down to London for an interview and on-screen test. They are expected to come along with two baked treats for this interview. This is, however not all; a second audition which involves completing a technical challenge which they are to attend with baked treats as well. Finally, to ensure that they can handle the physical and emotional pressures that come with filming 16 hours a day, candidates’ are required to see a psychologist.
The show makes take debranding very seriously; contestants are not allowed to wear clothing with stripes and logos. This is to avoid litigation case with companies who haven’t authorized the use of their brands. On the other hand, stripped clothes could also cause a clash with the cameras.
Before filming, the crew removes the brand name of all ingredients. Candidates are required to supply their ingredients, and if any more ingredients are needed, they are picked from the local supermarket. However, the brand names kept away from the camera.
5. All Contestants Are Amateurs:
While the show is open to residents of the United Kingdom above 16, they can however not be professionals in the cooking field. That is, anyone who has worked as a professional chef or acquired professional catering qualifications in the last ten years are unqualified from the show. The team rejects their applications, and they would not be called in for further interviews.
Also, informally trained candidates whose primary source of income comes from commercial baking are not qualified to participate in the show. All accepted candidates are amateur bakers with no formal baking experience.
6. Filming Takes More Than One Day:
Filming takes more than one day, but the videos are often edited to look like it has just been a day. Usually, the bake-offs go on for as long as three days, although it takes typically two days. To make it more realistic, contestants wear the same outfits, which makes it look like all the filming was shot and completed in one day.
7. The Show is Largely Scripted
The show’s script is very detailed with strict rules. Everyone on the show is expected to stick with the text. The camera crew takes different shots in segments which include the contestants baking, talking about the process as well as shots of the finished products. Often contestants are asked to repeat what they have said or to repeat a step while baking which the camera might have missed.
Also, oven shots are priceless, and as such before putting the batter into the oven, competitors are required to call over the camera crew to get exciting before shot of the batter mix.
8. All Ovens Are Tested Daily:
To make sure that all ovens on the show are in excellent working competition, competitors have to bake the Victoria Sponge cakes every morning. Yes, you read that right, they bake a Victoria Sponge cakes every morning.
- While bakers usually use between 12 to 20 ingredients when baking, Francis Quinn in 2013 topped this off with her “Midsummer Night’s Dream” inspired cake. The cake contained 124 ingredients, and its design was in the form of a three-tier wedding cake. Amazing Right?
- Friendliness is encouraged among competitors as they are taken out to dine together at the beginning of the show. The contestants are friends and have good intentions towards one another.
Reality shows are fascinating; mostly because of the twists and turns they take. But behind the scenes is where all of the fun often takes place. These 10 facts about the Great British Bake Off would endear you to the show even more.