But behind the PR, the question viewers have is: how good – or bad – are the bakers?
Bake off judge Paul Hollywood reveals his theory about why the standard of contestants improves year-on-year: “After four years of the show being out, people who weren’t particularly confident about themselves have been watching the programme and thinking ‘I could do that’. So now time has passed the true bakers are coming forward because they know they can do it.”
Paul, 48, who has been co-judging the show with cookery expert Mary Berry, 79, since 2010 runs his own artisan baking business in Kent, and is known to supply high-end stores Harrods and Waitrose. So Paul appreciates a decent fellow-baker when he meets one.
“This series these are proper bakers. It feels like some of them have been baking for 20 years – even Martha, and she’s only 17!
“I’m really talking to like-minded bakers, that that’s the difference this year. The standard is fantastic, the quality amazing and the bakers have been awesome with their innovation, creativity and techniques – there have been some real moments.”
To judge the quality of the bakers for yourself watch the new series of The Great British Bake Off on BBC1, from Wednesday, August 6. This will be followed by a new spin-off show, The Extra Slice, hosted by Jo Brand, immediately afterwards on BBC2.