The Great British Bake Off

The Great British Bake Off: Meet the contestants

This year’s diverse batch of contestants features a cancer survivor, a banker, an ex Army Officer and an architect competing to take home The Great British Bake Off crown.

Student Liam is the youngest contestant in this year’s group and at the other end of the spectrum is the show’s oldest contestant to date - 71 year old retiree Flo.

The contestants will not be the only new additions to the show; presenters Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig will join new judge Prue Leith and GBBO original Paul Hollywood for the show’s debut on Channel 4.

Jo Brand returns to GBBO: An Extra Slice

GBBO: An Extra Slice will follow the contestants behind the scenes, with exclusive footage and moments not seen in the show.

GBBO bakers who leave the show will join Brand to relive some of their best and worst moments.

She will also be joined by celebrity fans of the show who will offer their opinion on each week’s tasks (as well as getting to try some ambitious bakes).

Why Bake Off's Nadiya Hussain is living the dream

“It’s a totally different beast,” she insists.

The Big Family Cooking Showdown, which is presented by Hussain and Zoe Ball, pits 16 families against each other in weekly culinary crusades, judged by chefs Rosemary Schrager and Bruno Locatelli.

“It’s about family cooking and different cultures. There’s baking involved depending on who wants to bake,” she explains.

The ten-part series is due to launch in the autumn.

Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding to host Channel 4's Great British Bake Off

Comedians Sandi Toksvig (QI) and Noel Fielding (The Mighty Boosh) will host Britain’s biggest baking competition, while restaurateur and food writer Prue Leith joins Paul Hollywood as a judge.
 
The news comes after it was announced last autumn that the blockbuster baking show would be moving from BBC One to Channel 4.
 

The Bake Off debate boils over

Jay Hunt speaks to reporters after the RTS London Conference Session (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

James Purnell: ‘From a PSB perspective, we now see a real chasm between the way we are going to be regulated. 

‘The Charter agreement is a set of incredibly detailed guidance to Ofcom – children’s programmes, history, religion, current affairs, 100-plus quotas. 

‘We wouldn’t wish that on Channel 4, but, looking at what has happened with Bake Off, there is a huge difference between the way we are regulated, and… now there is a question about whether that is right. 

‘Channel 4’s lighter touch should be looked at.’ 

Sue Perkins looks for Britain's best spellers in new Sky One show

Twenty children, aged 9-13 years, from across the UK have signed up to take part in the series. They will be competing against each other in invented games and challenges centred around spelling conundrums before one of them is crowned champion in a final showdown.

Lorraine Heggessey’s TV Diary

Lorraine Heggessey

Off to The Club at The Ivy for Sue Perkins’s book launch of Spectacles. It turns out that Sue had a penchant for kilts as a child. Who knew? The room is full of talented, inspirational women.

I’m thrilled to meet the legend that is Mary Berry, though she, Mel and Sue remain professionally tight-lipped about who is going to win Bake Off. I’m rooting for Nadiya.

Kim Shillinglaw: It’s bloody hard to make great television

Kim Shillinglaw

When Kim Shillinglaw became Controller of BBC Two last year, one of her predecessors took her for a drink. Roly Keating had launched BBC Four, moved on to BBC Two and filled in as temporary boss of BBC One. In a meeting room in New Broadcasting House, Shillinglaw recalls with terrible clarity what he told her.

“He said, ‘You will find BBC Two is the toughest. Let me tell you that now. BBC Four has a lot of individual commissions but not very much money, so there’s a limit to how many things it can commission.