The Great British Bake Off 2020: When is it on TV? Who are the GBBO contestants? Who was voted Star Baker and who was sent home?

GBBO is coming soon to Channel 4 thanks to a ‘mammoth sacrifice’ by cast and crew to make it happen despite the coronavirus lockdown. Here’s what we know about the return of the series.

By Sophia Moir Published: 28 October 2020 - 9.26am
Channel 4

Autumn wouldn't be the same without The Great British Bake Off, and thanks to a ‘mammoth sacrifice’  to make it happen in light of coronavirus, it's not any different.

GBBO is back for series 11, which means we no longer have to spend our Tuesday evenings wishing for the return of soggy bottoms and binned Baked Alaskas.

But if filming was impacted by coronavirus, will it look and feel the same? Did they have to socially distance on set? Will there still be Hollywood's famous handshakes?

From the GBBO 2020 contestants to the first Channel 4 trailer and the brand new presenter, here’s what we know about Bake Off series 11 so far...

When is The Great British Bake Off on TV?

Baking enthusiasts and Prue Leith superfans will know that Bake Off usually starts in August, with the final taking place in October. But filming for Bake Off series 11 was delayed due to coronavirus, which temporarily shut down most TV and film productions.

Fortunately, the wait is almost over and Channel 4 has confirmed that the new series of The Great British Bake Off starts on Tuesday, September 22 at 8pm.

The first three episodes of the new series will be extended to 90 minutes, rather than the usual 75 - with an extra advert break added.

It's thought that there will be ten episodes this series, which means that the final episode should air on Tuesday, November 24 at 8pm.

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Is there a trailer for The Great British Bake Off 2020?

Yep, the first look trailer for Bake Off 2020 has now been released and you can watch it in full below:

Who are the contestants for The Great British Bake Off 2020?

The full line-up of contestants The Great British Bake Off 2020 has been announced and it includes a music teacher, a pantomime producer and a bronze resin sculptor. Find out more  about the contestants below.

*SPOILERS for Bake Off 2020 follow*

Dave - Star Baker in week 2

30-year-old armoured guard from Hampshire

As a child, Dave rarely ventured into the kitchen to cook, relying entirely on his mum’s cooking – he taught himself to bake only once he’d flown the nest. Now living with his girlfriend in their first home, he loves filling his kitchen with fancy, colourful gadgets and he even chooses his appliances with Bake Off in mind!

Dave bakes at least once a week – and always while listening to his favourite punk rock bands. His baking style is innovative and imaginative and his strengths lie in bread (pretzels, brioche rolls, and baguettes are particular favourites) and decoration – he especially loves a mirror glaze to give his bakes a professional-looking finish. When he’s not baking, Dave can be found pursuing his other passions – cars, DIY, and taking his dog and cat for walks.

Hermine

39-year-old accountant from London

Hermine was born and raised in Benin, West Africa, and moved to London in 2001 to pursue further education. Growing up, she used to love helping her mum bake for big family gatherings, and then at the age of eight decided to go about it on her own. She bought the ingredients for a Savarin cake and threw herself into the challenge. She has never looked back!

The French influence in Benin has instilled in Hermine a love of high-end pâtissérie – she enjoys baking intricate millefeuille, éclairs and entremets. She is also a dab hand at sourdough – so much so that her nine-year-old son now refuses to eat any other bread! A notorious feeder with an infectious laugh, she’s creative at heart and loves cooking marmalades and jams to give as gifts, making beautiful labels as well as delicious fillings for the jars.

Laura -  Star Baker in week 5

31-year-old digital manager from Kent

A Gravesend girl born and bred, Laura began baking at around the age of eight but only realised her flair for it a few years ago. She loves citrus and strong flavours, and enjoys putting a modern twist on old classics. Laura thrives working under pressure and thinks her organised nature is what particularly suited her to taking part in Bake Off.

The perfectionist in her wants things to look faultlessly pretty and gorgeously dainty. She specialises in decoration and is proud to have mastered the art of piped buttercream flowers. Laura is happily married to a Police Community Support Officer, and she loves musical theatre (as a performer and audience member) and is a volunteer for the Samaritans.

Linda - Voted out in week 5

61-year-old retirement living team leader from East Sussex

Linda discovered her passion for baking during her frequent childhood visits to her aunt’s dairy farm, just down the road from her own home. She’d help to milk the cows, then carry a bucket of milk into the kitchen, where her aunt taught her to bake cakes topped with rich, creamy icing. To this day Linda buys homegrown produce from another aunt’s fruit farm and uses it in her baking.

Her strengths are in the classics and in home-comfort cooking, like her signature sausage rolls. A lover of the countryside and of being outdoors in general, Linda will frequently head with her partner to their local beach, to fish for mackerel and mullet. And she loves to spend time in her garden – cultivating its produce and for its positive effects on her well-being.

Loriea - Voted out in week 1

27-year-old diagnostic radiographer from Durham

Born and raised in Jamaica, Loriea uses baking as a means to celebrate her Caribbean roots. She moved to the UK when she was 15 years old, but began baking at age five with her maternal grandmother, whose influence plays a big part in her cooking style. Loriea loves to include coconut, chillies and cinnamon in her food – and rarely follows a recipe exactly. In fact, from the moment she reads a recipe, she starts to think how she can tweak it to make it her own.

Her husband, Peter, is the biggest fan of her cooking, and he especially loves her Jamaican patties. When Loriea isn’t baking or working long shifts at the hospital as a radiographer, she likes practising the craft of macramé. Growing up, Loriea was really into athletics – and has even met Usain Bolt.

Lottie - Star Baker in week 5

31-year-old pantomime producer from West Sussex

Lottie’s Lancastrian great-grandmother was a fervent cake-baker – and for this reason Lottie believes that baking is in her blood. She has always had a fascination with cooking: when she was little, she watched cooking shows rather than playing with her toys and was often to be found making notes from cookery books.

She calls herself a ‘perpetually frustrated perfectionist’ and, while her baking has become more refined over time, she hopes it retains an element of her dark sense of humour. When she’s not baking or busy with her job producing pantomime, Lottie will be playing computer games with her young cousins, or practising yoga.

Mak - Voted out in week 2

51-year-old accountant from Greater Manchester

Self-taught baker Makbul first took on cooking at home as a means to help support his mum. He has honed those early skills through watching TV shows, reading books and drawing inspiration from famous chefs. He has a remarkable ability to measure out ingredients just by eye. Mak’s strengths lie in pastry (he says he’s better at puff than shortcrust); and, for celebrations such as Eid, he enjoys making traditional Asian nankhatai biscuits.

He thinks baking has made him generally more patient, but woe betide anyone (even his wife) who tries to take control in his kitchen! Their three grown-up children are his harshest baking critics. Mak has recently taken up beekeeping – he produces his own honey, which he loves to use as often as possible in his bakes. 

Marc -  Star Baker in week 3

51-year-old bronze resin sculptor from Cornwall

Marc decided to enter Bake Off in a bid to show his daughters that even when life throws obstacles at you, you can rise to new challenges and develop new passions. Born and raised in Leicester, fervent climber Marc spent his youth travelling the world and conquering mountains, before settling back in the UK and becoming a landscape photographer.

Personal tragedy, including losing his leg in a motorbike accident in 2016, led him to baking bread as a form of therapy, and from there he came to baking cakes and pastries. From palmiers and chausson aux pommes to opera cakes and millefeuille, his bakes now show true finesse. He’s a support worker and single parent, and, with his daughters cheering him on, he’s taken up climbing again.

Mark - Voted out in week 5, Star Baker in week 4

32-year-old project manager from Liverpool

Northern Irishman Mark fell in love with baking at a pie shop in Edinburgh – he visited every day while he was at university for the shop’s delicious Mac ’n’ Cheese pie. Following that early inspiration, he began to experiment: first attempting (and perfecting) a lemon drizzle cake and eventually taking on multi-tiered wedding cakes, each time looking at the science of the bake in order to perfect it.

His style is hugely influenced by his Irish heritage, but also by the flavours of Africa and Asia, where he travels regularly for his work as a project manager for public health research programmes.

When he isn’t baking, you can find Mark walking in the Lake District, indulging his passion for wildlife, or with his wife, travelling and exploring new places.

Peter - Star Baker in week 1

20-year-old Accounting & Finance student from Edinburgh

With his parents and brother, Edinburgh-born Peter grew up feasting on his mum’s home cooking. But it was Bake Off that inspired him to start baking for himself – he has watched every series since the first and has been baking seriously since he was only 12 years old. He loves to honour his homeland in his cooking, using Scottish ingredients – including berries, whisky, oats and honey – whenever he can.

When he’s not baking, he is either upholding the family’s love of numbers by studying Accounting and Finance at university, or demonstrating his competitive streak on the badminton court – he has been playing badminton for a decade and has represented his county in the sport since 2012. 

Rowan - Voted out in week 3

55-year-old music teacher from Worcestershire

Entirely self-taught, Rowan calls his baking style ostentatious – but, he hopes, tasteful. French pâtissérie is his absolute passion – he loves the subtlety of flavour, and the style and sophistication of French baking, and he is drawn to fine, complex, layered cakes. His love of the Georgian era encourages him to reinvent 18th-century recipes whenever he can.

He enjoys decorating his bakes with flowers, preferably edible ones, using what is in bloom in his garden. A fitness enthusiast, Rowan swims a mile most mornings and is a keen cyclist and occasional horse-rider. He lives in Worcestershire with his partner, who shares his passion for music, the arts and theatre, and he can often be found in the British Library researching all things 1700s.

Sura - Voted out in week 4

31-year-old pharmacy dispenser from London

Sura grew up surrounded by family who offered food as a means to show affection, love and respect. The many Middle Eastern and Asian influences in her heritage – including Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and India – mean she enjoys experimenting with ingredients and flavours from all over the world.

Never one to stick to a recipe, Sura loves to improvise in the kitchen and inject her bakes with as much personality as possible. She loves to work with fragrant and floral flavours such as cardamom, rose and orange blossom.  She now lives in London with her husband and elderly grandmother. When she’s not baking or working, she can be found indulging her passions for travel, architecture and design.   

Who are the judges and presenters?

Bake Off 2020 judges presenters Channel 4
Matt Lucas joins the show for series 11

One thing that will look similar this year is the judging table, as Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith are back to rate the contestants' bakes.

And as the contestants don’t have to social distance during filming, we should still see the famous Hollywood handshakes - if the contestants are worthy, that is.

The presenting line-up is slightly different, as comedian Matt Lucas has replaced Sandi Toksvig, who quit the show to focus on her other work projects.

Lucas will be joined by Noel Fielding, who's returning as co-presenter.

Where was Bake Off 2020 filmed and how was filming impacted by coronavirus?

Bake Off season 11 was filmed in a brand new location this year as production moved from Welford Park in Newbury, Berkshire to the Down Hall Hotel and Spa in Essex, near to Bishop's Stortford.

Filming on the 'gruelling' seven-week shoot kicked off in July 2020 - three months later than its usual May start date - with the Bake Off team working two days on, two days off.

Love Productions - who make the show - recently revealed the extensive measures they took on set so that cast and crew could film the series safely.

Speaking to Broadcast, they revealed that the show’s production staff of 120 people had to live in a self-contained biosphere (aka a coronavirus bubble) for the duration of filming, to allow the cast to disregard social distancing guidelines on camera.

The new filming location housed all cast and crew alongside 20 hotel staff members, 80 producers and around 20 "children, chaperones and dog walkers".

RadioTimes.com reports that everyone on the team had to self-isolate for nine days and take three tests for Covid-19 before they could enter the hotel.

The production crew even built 12 practice kitchens for the bakers to use on their days off.

So will the new series look the same as regular Bake Off?

“In the tent what you will see looks like normal Bake Off, because it is normal Bake Off and we’ve been able to do that,” Deputy Director of Programmes at Channel 4, Kelly Webb-Lamb.

“In terms of what actually went on in the tent, the challenges that they did, the amount of time they had to prepare, those things were the same as they always are. So it’s been an incredible feat from Love [Productions] to pull that off.”

Watch Great British Bake Off if you liked… 

The Big Flower Fight, The Great British Sewing Bee, Bake Off: The Professionals, Junior Bake Off, Masterchef, Britain’s Best Home Cook.

 

The Great British Bake Off starts Tuesday, September 22 at 8pm on Channel 4.