With just hours to go until the Great British Bake Off returns to screens, here’s the answers to the questions everyone’s asking.
There was something of a scandal when it was announced that GBBO would be moving to Channel 4 in time for last year’s series. But despite the uproar, the basic premise of the show has remained unchanged.
12 contestants are selected from thousands of applicants to compete across 10 weeks of increasingly complex bakes. At the end of each week’s episode, judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith will crown one lucky contestant “Star Baker” and send another packing.
This year’s crop of contestants features four Yorkshire-based bakers, including Wakefield’s very own Karen, who has been baking since she was just a child. Other contestants include a blood carrier, a techno DJ and a retired air steward.
For a full list of contestants, click here.
Each week sees the amateur bakers face three new challenges along the week’s chosen theme. This year, the show promises new and exciting vegan week, alongside old classics such as bread, pastry and patisserie.
The signature challenge sees bakers asked to produce a tried-and-tested recipe of the sort they might produce for friends and family. GBBO says that bakers are expected to produce “something cute, rustic and altogether home-made-looking” for this task.
The technical challenge puts the contestants’ skills to the task. They do not know what they will be expected to bake before arriving in the tent, and are often given only minimal instruction. Entries are judged blindly and ordered from lowest to highest.
The final challenge, the showstopper bake, has produced some of the show’s most memorable moments. Contestants are expected to bake to a high standards, producing visually impressive, taste bud tickling masterpieces. Previous showstoppers have included a marzipan peacock, a lion made out of bread and a haunted gingerbread barn.
The show was filmed earlier this summer, with contestants sacrificing their weekends to travel to Welford Park, Berkshire, and visit the infamous tent. This summer’s heatwave proved a particular challenge, and judges Prue and Paul have admitted that high temperatures caused chaos for the bakers.
The Great British Bake Off 2018 will begin on Channel 4 at 8pm on Tuesday, August 28.
Keep track of the action, support your favourites and place your bets on Twitter by following #GBBO.