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After Queen Elizabeth II’s passing earlier this month, rumors spread that the latest season of The Great British Baking Show premiere would be delayed. Amid the 10-day official mourning period following the monarch’s death, some broadcasters have suspended regular programming, causing several new shows to be postponed or moved. However, it was later confirmed that GBBO would return as scheduled. The season premiere of The Great British Baking Show (titled The Great British Bake Off in its home country) aired in the UK on September 13 and will arrive on Netflix in the U.S. on September 16. We can’t wait to see 12 aspiring bakers make their way through 30 new challenges designed to put their baking abilities to the test.
Never Watched The Great British Baking Show? Here’s What to Expect
Thousands of amatuer bakers across Britian apply to be contestants on the show, but only 12 make it per season. Each episode features three challenges: a signature bake, a technical baking assignment, and a showstopper bake. Every challenge has its own theme and requirements, forcing bakers to go beyond their comfort zones and be the best of the best. After a whole day of baking, one contestant is named Star Baker – and another is eliminated from the competition.
Instead of your typical food show studio, all this baking goes on in a giant tent. Why is Great British Baking Show in a tent, you might wonder? It’s certainly not to make things easier: The unpredictable English weather – sometimes chocolate-meltingly hot, other times proof-destroying-ly soggy – causes no shortage of consternation for the contestants. Nor is it a pandemic protocol; the tent was a fixture of the show long before COVID. Rather the reason for the fun tent, according to mashed.com, is “to bring to mind a ye olde time ‘village fete,’ a local village celebration often seen in the summers in small British towns.”
Why Do People Like This Show So Much?
The Great British Baking Show began in 2010 and started airing in the U.S. on PBS in 2014. However, it came onto many Americans’ radars during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. At a time where people were stuck inside, baking was the perfect escape from the fear and uncertainty.
“There was something so comforting about it,” says long-time fan Harlow Webber. “It was turning it on and seeing familiar faces. Plus, baking and watching baking is sort of cathartic.”
There’s also something to be said for the pleasant, gentle tone of the program. The show differs from many reality shows by treating its contestants with consideration and warmth.
It could have gone the way of other competition shows. Huffington Post reports that things got off to a rocky start on the first day of filming back in 2010. Original hosts Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc nearly walked off the project amid accusations that producers were using “unkind” tactics to create on-set drama, even causing one contestant to cry.
“We wanted to make it kind. That was absolutely our number one priority and on day one we had quite a frank chat with the producers,” Giedroyc recalled in a 2020 interview. “We’re quite cheesy and homespun and we just want to have a laugh. Who wants to see people crying? I don’t.”
Perkins and Giedroyc stayed with the BBC-produced program for the first seven seasons. Starting with Season 8 in 2017, the show moved over to Channel 4. While the founding hosts didn’t continue with the show, the wholesome tone they insisted upon has continued – and is considered by many to be a key to the show’s global success.
“It’s a show about cakes and the moment you get tied up in intense feelings you tell yourself to stop being silly,” Gierdroyc noted. “It was about how the bakers communicated with one another. It was a place of play and sweetness and enjoyment and that’s what I loved about it.”
What’s in Store for Season 13?
Judges Paul Hollywod and Prue Leith will return for Season 13, as will hosts Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas. We know the names of the bakers for the season: Abdul, Carole, Dawn, James, Janusz, Kevin, Maisam, Maxy, Rebs, Sandro, Syabira, and Will.
The trailer hints that the season will start with a Cake Week to include a batch of signature sandwiches, a classic American cake, and at least one bake that appears to struggle with foundation issues. Two more themes rumored to pop-up over the course of this season include Halloween Week and Mexican Week.
Where Can I Watch The British Baking Show?
For U.S. viewers, Bake Off streams on Netflix.
When Do New Bake Off Episodes Come Out?
New episodes will be released on Fridays between September 16 and November 18, 2022. Each will go live on Netflix at 3 a.m. EST.
Episode 1: Friday, September 16
Episode 2: Friday, September 23
Episode 3: Friday, September 30
Episode 4: Friday, October 7
Episode 5: Friday, October 14
Episode 6: Friday, October 21
Episode 7: Friday, October 28
Episode 8: Friday, November 4
Episode 9: Friday, November 11
Episode 10: Friday, November 18