We lift the flaps of the Great British Bake Off tent to find out what goes on behind the scenes of the baking competition... and discover some surprising Bake Off secrets!
Each week on The Great British Bake Off we can see all manner of tasty baked treats and surprising showstoppers created right in front of our very eyes.
But here are eight things that you might not know about The Great British Bake Off, two of which 2014 finalist Richard Burr reveals, above…
Bake Off is filmed at Welford Park in Newbury, Berkshire, which was a monastery until Henry VIII turned it into a deer hunting lodge for himself. In 1700, the house was remodelled by the owner, Thomas Archer, and in World War One was used as a convalescent home for soldiers. It’s now a privately-owned home, whose gardens are occasionally open to the public.
Judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood are kept completely apart from the contestants. “The bakers stay in another hotel,” explained Mary. “We never see them and we never have a meal with them because it’s very easy to have a favourite or to hear a little home story and we need to be fair.”
During the series, the contestants bake their way through more than 180kg of flour, 85kg of butter, 1,800 eggs and 20 litres of double cream. After an episode finishes filming, the bakers have a taste of each other’s creations before the TV crew dig in.
The famous Bake Off tent is erected a week before filming begins and remains up during the show’s 10-week run. Each episode is filmed over two days, involving more than 45 TV crew, with the Signature and Technical Challenges filmed on the first day and the Showstopper Challenge on the second. Filming can go on for up to 13 hours a day, especially at the beginning when there are 12 bakers.
While Paul and Mary are the experts, presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins are keen bakers too, and when there’s a bit of a lull in filming the pair are often to be found out the back of the tent making cakes for the crew!
Although Paul, Mary, Mel and Sue like cakes and biscuits, they actually all prefer savoury bakes, with the breakfast pastries episode featuring puff pastry being a particular favourite this series.
The Great British Bake Off continues Wednesdays at 8pm on BBC1.