The Great British Bake Off has become a national treasure - just look at what happened when it was announced that the show would be moving from BBC One to Channel 4!
Between Paul and Mary’s tricky baking challenges and the incredible mid-bake action shots, it’s safe to say that there’s a lot going on.
Between Paul and Mary’s tricky baking challenges and the incredible mid-bake action shots, it’s safe to say that there’s a lot going on in the GBBO tent during filming of the series.
But just what tricks do the crew have up their sleeves to make Bake Off so darn great?
Mental Floss investigated, and from the oven rules to backstage boxsets, here’s what they found out about everyone’s favourite baking series.
There’s An Oven Rule All Bakers Need To Observe
Ever wonder just how the camera crew manages to capture such great oven shots? Whether they’re putting their bake in, taking it out or just doing a quick mid-bake check, each contestant has to flag it up so that the camera crew can capture their immediate reaction - triumphs, tears and total disasters included.
Every Oven Has To Pass The Victoria Sponge Test
To make sure that every baker has an oven that’s working exactly as it should - and that everything’s fair - each oven in the tent gets the daily Victoria Sponge treatment. Before filming starts, a cake is baked in each oven, to ensure all is in order.
The Challenges Are All Tested Beforehand
Yep, it’s actually somebody’s job to ensure that Paul and Mary haven’t set the bakers an impossible task. The Bake Off’s food researcher needs to check that every technical challenge can be done within the time the bakers are allowed, and with the ingredients available. No tricks from the judges permitted!
No Costume Changes Allowed
Each episode is filmed over the course of two days, but notice how the bakers wear the same outfits throughout? That’s because for consistency, producers ask contestants to wear the same outfit for the whole weekend - no matter how much flour they get down themselves!
The Illustrations Are Created Post-Bake
Love those beautiful sketches of the bakes? Well, although they pop up our screens to give us an idea of what the bakers are aiming for, they’re actually not drawn up until after the challenge is completed. Former GBBO video editor Tom Hovey, who also has some serious drawing skills, creates the illustrations after the baking is all done, using photographs taken during filming. Naturally, when things don’t turn out as planned, he uses a little improvisation.
You’ll Find Paul and Mary Watching Boxsets Backstage
What do the judges do while the bakers are whipping up their creations? Although there is a little bit of walking around to be done, Paul and Mary do have a lot of downtime during the long days of filming, which apparently they fill by watching boxsets together backstage. Hosts Mel and Sue join them too, we imagine with a cuppa and a slice of cake.
Everyone Gets To Taste The Bakes
Though Paul and Mary both take the first bites of every bake during judging, the bakes aren’t wasted. Once the judging is done, all the cakes are shared around the crew too, with leftovers being added to the (no doubt impressive) spread in the lunch tent.
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