Baking fans can rejoice in the fact that the Great British Bake Off is to return to screens this evening! While the show has controversially left its BBC home and pitched its tent over on Channel 4 – leaving behind Mary, Mel and Sue – there is still a lot to look forward to from 8pm tonight.
Although things are set to be different due to the new judge – Prue Leith of Great British Menu fame – and the two new presenters, Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig, you can still expect a few soggy bottoms, tears over cake, and Paul Hollywood’s piercing blue eyes.
The competition will see 12 amateur bakers compete for the coveted GBBO crown, creating a range of inventive show stoppers and trying to get their heads around what are sure to be nail bitingly difficult technical challenges.
So exactly what do you need to know about the new – and possibly improved – Great British Bake Off?
The tent is still intact
In a bid to keep as much the same as possible, the show was filmed in the same tent at its usual Berkshire location. This means you’ll still be able to enjoy the odd shots of squirrels outside, the sound of rain battering the tent while contestants try to bake genoise sponge, and the usual cheesy intros from the British countryside.
Hopefully, the same background will help lull you into loving the new series as much as the old one!
It's the same format
Those who were worried that Channel 4 bosses would mess with the format of this national treasure of a show have nothing to fear, as it is exactly the same. Yes, there will be some advert breaks – although we’ve been promised they are well-timed – but other than that, everything will remain the same.
Each week will have a theme and three separate challenges – the signature bake, technical challenge and showstopper. You’ll probably also get to enjoy plenty of panicked faces, people staring into the depths of their ovens willing cakes to bake faster and the odd cheeky innuendo.
12 new contestants
Ahead of the new show, the 12 new bakers have been announced and, as usual, it’s a bit of a mixed bag.
We’ve got 29-year-old health and safety inspector Kate from Merseyside, Peter from Essex who is 52 and an IT programme manager, and 21-year-old Julie, who is originally from Siberia. Then there’s 50-year-old software developer Chris from Bristol, 71-year-old grandma Flo from Merseyside and 34-year-old Steven from Hertfordshire.
Other would-be GBBO champions include North London’s Yan, a 46-year-old laboratory research scientist, 46-year-old James, a banker from Essex, 33-year-old trainee stuntwoman Sophie from Surrey, and architect 29-year-old Tom from Edinburgh.
The final baker spots are taken up by 42-year-old Stacey from Hertfordshire and the youngest contestant, 19-year-old student Liam from North London.
Expect new terrible jokes
Mel and Sue were known for delivering some truly great bad jokes, and it looks as though Noel and Sandi have taken up the mantle. Although their brands of comedy are different to what we’re used to in the GBBO tent, we’ve been told to expect more of the humour that makes you chuckle and cringe in equal measures.
We’re sure we’ll hear what people think of this on Twitter throughout the show!
Things will get tougher
As with every year on Bake Off, the challenges are set to get tougher, the standards higher and the showstoppers more creative. No longer will a well-risen cake with a good crumb be enough to see contestants given the title of Star Baker. This series is all about bigger and better offerings to the Gingham Altar.
Be prepared to laugh, shout and cry alongside, and at, the contestants, as GBBO tries to prove it really will be the same as previous years.