18 things you probably didn't know about 'The Great British Baking Show'
"The Great British Baking Show" premiered in 2010. Channel 4 / Love Productions
"The Great British Baking Show" is actually called "The Great British Bake-Off" in Great Britain.
The winner of the show receives a cake stand and flowers, not a big cash prize.
To get on the show, applicants must be amateur bakers, fill out a long form, and attend face-to-face interviews.
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In "The Great British Baking Show", healthy fun collides with a real love of baking while 12 amateur chefs compete for the best sweets.
But even the show's superfans may not know everything that's going on behind the scenes.
Read on for 18 Little Known Facts About "The Great British Baking Show".
The show has a different name in the US because of Pillsbury.
In the UK, the show is called "The Great British Bake-Off". BBC
The series is called "The Great British Bake-Off" in Great Britain and "The Great British Baking Show" in the USA, as the American baking company Pillsbury owns the trademark for the term "Bake Off".
The term was used in 1949 when the brand celebrated its 80th anniversary by asking consumers about their best recipes made with flour.
The top 100 entries were submitted to a live competition in New York City as part of the Grand National Recipe and Baking Contest, later known as the Pillsbury Bake-Off.
Season 11 was filmed in less time, as usual, and participants had to remain in isolation for six weeks.
Season 11 participants of "The Great British Baking Show" enter the tent. BBC via Netflix
The producer Kieran Smith told the Radio Times in 2020 that the show would have to organize a "self-contained biosphere" for the 12 participants, the cast and the crew for safety reasons.
The show is typically shot over a 12-13 week period (mostly on weekends), but this season was shot halfway through it.
"... We asked, 'Can you take six weeks off and live in a biosphere?'" Smith said. "Everything was complicated, everything was different, but everyone wanted to do it."
Britain can't get enough of "The Great British Bake-Off".
Reportedly, 15.9 million viewers watched the season seven finale of "The Great British Baking Show". BBC / Netflix
Almost 11 million people saw the first episode of the new season last month. According to the broadcaster, this makes Channel 4 the largest non-film show since 1985.
The show also made history in 2016, when 15.9 million viewers watched the season seven finale, the largest audience seen by the UK since the London 2012 Olympics.
It is still one of the UK's most popular shows, which co-creator and executive producer Richard McKerrow has adapted to the nature of the show.
"It's a television series, but we always try to think of it as an event, much like a Wimbledon or an Olympics," McKerrow told the New York Times in 2020.
There is a long application process to become a candidate.
Sophie Faldo on "The Great British Baking Show". BBC / Netflix
If you meet the age requirement, UK residency status and amateur baker title, you will need to complete a seven-page application to be considered.
The 2017 show's winner, Sophie Faldo, told Radio Times in 2019 that the application was quite long.
"It mainly focuses on your baking," she said of the application. "Each section, like bread and cakes and cookies, has its own page and you need to tell what your signature baking is and how often you bake it."
When selected after an additional telephone interview, applicants will meet in person with the show's executives and be judged on the baked goods they make in both on-camera and off-camera tests.
Faldo added, "You have to bake something while you are there to make sure you are not just bringing in someone else's work. It is also to be seen that we were happy to bake and talk at the same time and how we deal with it The."
Every year over 12,000 people apply for the show.
Only 12 out of 12,000 applicants are selected to participate in the Great British Baking Show each year. PBS PressRoom
Of those 12,000 applicants, 300 to 400 people are auditioned in the first round, and 50 to 60 applicants make it to the second round. The last 12 will be selected based on the filmed technical challenge.
The show seeks bakers with traditional skills who also use new techniques. Ultimately, however, the decision will depend on the skills of the participant.
The show's producer, Sam Beddoes, told BBC Good Food, "When it comes to deciding who goes on the show, it's based on baking, not personality. You can have brilliant characters, but when they are in the first Go out round. " it doesn't work "
"The Great British Baking Show" has a three-person "Home Economics" team to make sure the show goes smoothly.
The "housekeeping" team receives all the ingredients that the participants need for their baked goods. BBC / Netflix
Although episodes typically take two days to film, the Home Economics team starts work a few days before filming begins so that the ingredients can be put together.
"Basically, we are responsible for everything to do with food and equipment," said Georgia May, a member of the team, to The Guardian in 2014. "We have to make sure participants are happy. They can show off . " We have to get what brand of product they want and then burn it down for the screen. "
The ovens are tested every day before shooting.
The ovens are tested to ensure fair competition. BBC / Netflix
The show's "Home Economics" team tests the ovens daily by baking Victoria sponges, a type of cake.
"We mark each one and then leave a runner at each station with his cake mix so we can be sure that they all went into the oven at the same time and can be properly tested," May told The Guardian. "We just have to be sure that we are fair."
"They do this to ensure that all ovens are working properly and that no one can blame a technical malfunction for poor baking," former competitor Ali Imdad told BirminghamLive in 2017.
The baked goods are not lost.
The crew of "The Great British Baking Show" is allowed to eat leftovers from baked goods. BBC / Netflix
Despite the amount of baking on the show, no food is lost in the tent.
Imdad told BirminghamLive, "The cameramen are literally standing there with forks in their back pockets, waiting to fall when the filming stops."
Imdad said if there are leftovers they are taken to the lunch area for lunch, but "they don't usually get that far because the crew eats them first".
Judges, not producers, decide who stays and leaves.
Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith are the current "bake-off" judges. BBC / Netflix
Contrary to reality show stereotypes, the judges have total control over who gets the boot.
Former Great British Baking Show judge Mary Berry told BBC Good Food, "That's why we might get three girls in a final or three boys - maybe it's not great TV, but that's exactly what happened."
"We always judge what is happening on the day - not the week before or the week before," she added.
Before the show begins, participants must have plans for their final baking.
Participants must prepare their final baking recipes in good time. BBC / Netflix
Before starting filming, entrants must hand in the "10 Signature and Showstopper Baking Recipes" they would do in the finals if they made it this far.
The recipes are then examined by Chloe Avery, the show's food producer.
"The Great British Baking Show" has its own illustrator.
Tom Hovey illustrates all of the desserts on the Great British Baking Show. BBC / Netflix
Tom Hovey has worked for the show since its inception in 2010 and also produced the graphics for the show's spin-offs, such as Junior Bake-Off. He has drawn over 3,000 baked goods.
After each episode is filmed, Hovey receives photos of the finished baked goods and spends about a week illustrating them.
"My illustrations are a representation of what the bakers hope to create," he told the BBC. "Even if the bakers don't produce what they intended, I have a certain artistic license to make them look good."
The participants are interviewed several times a day.
Frances Quinn on "The Great British Baking Show". BBC / Netflix
2013 show winner Frances Quinn told Cosmopolitan in 2019 that attendees will be interviewed about eight times a day so producers can get enough content for a one-hour show.
"You just have to get that much footage for an hour of show," Quinn said. "They are interviewed about eight times a day just so they have every kind of answer and every kind of question has been asked."
Producers want a camera to film every time the ovens are opened.
The cameras try to capture every detail. BBC via Netflix
At first, the 12 attendees may be more numerous than the cameras - but towards the end, Quinn said attendees should always expect a camera on their face.
"... you want to have a camera with you every time you go in the oven, look in the oven and get something out of the oven," she said. "The thing is not to say when something goes wrong - the camera is on you."
The tent conditions can affect the baked goods.
The temperature can affect the baked goods. BBC / Netflix
Fluctuating temperatures, springy floors and lack of time are just a few things that make the conditions in the tent difficult, according to Quinn.
"It's completely alien to your own kitchen at home," she told Cosmopolitan in the same interview. "The temperature fluctuates - you'd make a meringue and it would start raining, or we'd try to make pastries and it would be 27 degrees outside. The technical challenges and lack of time and lack of refrigerator and work space are that Enemy on this show. "
Bakers wear the same clothes for two days in a row during filming.
The cast of "The Great British Baking Show" have to wear the same outfit for two days. BBC / Netflix
As episodes are often shot over the course of a weekend, attendees are asked to keep the same look for continuity.
"Fortunately, they change aprons so we don't end up looking like a Jackson Pollock painting," Quinn told Cosmopolitan.
Berry watched "Breaking Bad" on the set.
Mary Berry on "The Great British Baking Show". BBC One
During the downtime on set, the former judge said she played the AMC drama "Breaking Bad" with former presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins.
Berry told the Telegraph in 2014, "It's better than motorsport that [my husband] sees - although I'd prefer Downton Abbey."
The winner of "The Great British Baking Show" does not receive a large cash prize.
The winner will receive a cake stand and flowers. BBC / Netflix
Unlike cooking contest shows like MasterChef, where contestants compete for $ 250,000, The Great British Baking Show does not offer the winner a cash prize.
Instead, they are given a bouquet of flowers, a cake stand, and a bit of fame.
The show goes through many baking accessories.
"The Great British Baking Show" uses many baking materials. BBC / Netflix
According to The Guardian, bakers went through over 440 pounds of flour, 176 pounds of chocolate, 330 pounds of sugar, 198 pounds of butter, 9 gallons of double cream, and 2,000 eggs in season four alone. They also used 21 different types of flour.
In total, this amount of baking resulted in a cleaning time of 208 hours.
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