GBBO filming takes 16 hours a day and contestants carry on with day jobs

For all the cake lovers out there, the Great British Bake Off has finally returned.

The iconic show is back on Channel 4 and fans couldn’t be more excited about its return after nearly a year.

Fans watch as a dozen amateur bakers arrive in the tent and try their best to impress Paul Hollywood and Dame Prue Leith, who will return as judges while Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding present the show.

Among the new contestants this year are a Metropolitan Police detective, a retired nurse and an IT professional who will try to create show-stopping baked goods to would blow you away with how are presented and how they taste.

Whether you're an avid baker who thinks they could have a shot at winning the show, or you're just someone who likes to watch to admire the cakes, here is everything you need to know about the show in numbers.


Producers will bake one Victoria sponge every single day to test that the ovens still work before filming. That means that the crew get to snack on even more cake, lucky them.


The two judges for the show are Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith, and there are also two presenters, Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas, who are pros at providing plenty of laughs.


There are three rounds in each episode every week known as the signature, technical and showstopper rounds.

The signature challenge will give bakers the chance to display their trusty recipes and the technical challenge is usually much more difficult.

With the showstopper, the bakers get the chance to create something beautiful that also tastes fabulous.


The show will start at 8pm on Channel 4 on Tuesday September 21 and will be on once a week.


It’s filmed over a period of ten weeks on weekends, allowing the contestants to carry on with their 9-5 jobs in the week. No rest for the wicked, eh?


There have been 12 series of GBBO so far and it always starts with 12 contestants. Each week one contestant gets sent home to determine the best baker.


It can take an intense 16 hours a day of filming which the show manages to pack up in a one hour of airtime, that’s pretty impressive.

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There’s usually up to 20 ingredients for each challenge, with usually a minimum of 12, but it can sometimes be a lot more depending on the intricacy of the bake.


The Great British Bake Off isn’t just in the UK, there are actually 27 different international versions of the show including:

  • The Great Australian Bake Off
  • The Great Canadian Baking Show
  • The Great Irish Bake Off
  • The Great American Baking Show
  • Bake Off Greece


There are around 50 crew members working on the show, who most definitely eat all the leftovers.


Each episode of the week is 60 minutes, with the final being a little bit longer to crown the winner.

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The record number of ingredients used for a bake is 124 by contestant Frances Quinn, with a three tiered cake inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Each of the cake's three tiers was said to represent one of the play's three plots, including a ginger base, a lemon drizzle sandwich middle and a carrot and pineapple top.


In total, there have been 144 contestants on the show, with the winner of the eleventh series being 21-year-old Peter Sawkins from Edinburgh.


There is actually no dishwasher on Bake Off because the noise would disrupt filming.

Instead, home economists apparently spend a whopping 160 hours washing up everything by hand. We don’t envy them.

9.4 million

It would seem that The Great British Bake Off has proven pretty popular, after it attracted a record-breaking audience of 9.4m during the series ten launch.

Snacks at the ready, Series 12 of the show kicks off tonight on Channel 4 at 8pm.

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