Even in a year like 2020, some things never change. The Great British Bake Off returns next week for its 11th round with 12 new top British prospects vying for crumby supremacy. As usual, they range from the kind of seasoned contestants who beat more eggs than you had on hot dinners, to the stimulating experience of fresh-faced Gen Z innovation.Of course, the pandemic has forced the entire entertainment industry to adapt and Bake Off is no exception. To make the filming take place during the lockdown, Channel 4 created a ‘biosphere’ bubble within the Down Hall Hotel in Essex, abandoning the traditional tent location in Welford Park, Berkshire . Fortunately, the famous white tent remains.
Bakers, judges (including Prue Leith’s dogs), presenters and the crew spent seven weeks on site and nothing was allowed to enter without being thoroughly cleaned. New co-host Matt Lucas, who replaces Sandi Toksvig to star alongside Noel Fielding, described life on set as “like a summer camp.” He hosted a bingo night, Prue Leith hosted a flower arrangement class, and Paul Hollywood brought his own pizza oven. Filming had to stop once when someone developed symptoms of coronavirus, but the test came back negative.
Who are the candidates for this year?