The Great British Bake Off

The Great British Bake Off


4.8 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars94%
  • 4 Stars0%
  • 3 Stars6%
  • 2 Stars0%
  • 1 Star0%
4.88 / 5 based on 17 Reviews


The Great British Bake Off, often referred to as Bake Off or GBBO, is a BAFTA award-winning British television baking competition first shown by BBC Two on 17 August 2010. It is presented by Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, and judged by cookery writer Mary Berry and professional baker Paul Hollywood. Aired under the name The Great British Baking Show in the United States, the competition selects from amongst its contestants the best amateur baker.

The programme operates on a weekly elimination process to find the best all-around baker from the contestants who are all amateurs. The applicants to the show are assessed by a researcher, followed by an audition in London with two of their bakes. They then undergo a screen test and an interview with a producer. A second audition involves the applicants baking two recipes for judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood in front of the cameras. Ten contestants were chosen for the first series, twelve for the following two series, thirteen for the fourth, and back to twelve for the fifth and sixth.

In each episode, the amateur bakers are given three challenges: a signature bake, a technical challenge, and a show-stopper. The three challenges take place over two days, and the filming takes up to 16 hours a day. The contestants are assessed by the judges who then choose a "Star Baker" for the week (introduced in series 2), and a contestant is also eliminated. In the final round, three bakers are left and a winner is chosen from the three.

Signature Challenge

This challenge is for the amateur bakers to show off their tried-and-tested recipes for bakes they might make for their friends and family.

Technical Challenge

This challenge requires enough technical knowledge and experience to produce a certain finished product when given only limited – or even minimal – instructions. The bakers are all given the same recipe and are not told beforehand what the challenge will be. The finished products are judged blind and ranked from worst to best.

Showstopper Challenge

This challenge is for the bakers to show off their skills and talent.

The judges favor a bake that is both of a professional appearance but is also outstanding in taste.In the first series, the location of the cast and crew move from town to town each week, but starting from the second series, the competition is held in one location in a specially constructed marquee. Interspersed in the programme are the background of the contestants as well as video vignettes on the history of baking. What each baker intends to bake during a particular challenge is illustrated using animated graphics. These graphics have been created by illustrator Tom Hovey since the show's inception in 2010.

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  • Where can you watch this in the US/online?2 Answers
  • What's your favorite baked good from the show?1 Answers
The Great British Bake Off
The Great British Bake Off
Reviews (17)
Q&A (2)
Leave a Review
Susanna G.
4 reviews
This is the only television show you will ever need. It's summer and it's pouring down rain and the British bakers are struggling to temper their chocolate. Paul Hollywood gazes at their creations with his piercing blue eyes and says it's not too bad. Mary Berry is an angel sent to heal us from the ravages of contemporary life. If you like crisp shortbread, you'll love this show. Five stars. Always. 
Jen R.
154 reviews
I honestly didn't think I would enjoy this show, but surprisingly this has become one of my favorites! As one reviewer puts it, it's refreshing and doesn't even compare to the baking shows that you see on the Food network or Cooking channel. I love the camaraderie and support each of the contestants have for one another on this show despite how crazy technical the challenges can be and how straightforward the judges are. 

I've grown to love Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood and get a kick out of the other 2 hosts with their humor. I live for Mary's scrummy comments and Paul's poker face. I like the show's setting and how the contestants have various challenges to do each week. The custom desserts are amazing and I always get cravings every time I watch this show! Love it!
Caitlin M.
Los Angeles, CA
220 reviews
Pop Culture Expert Level 4
You know how American food competition shows are about sabotage, scheming, and a lot of yelling? Well, the Great British Bake Off is the exact opposite of that. Everyone is kind and jovial, and more importantly they're phenomenal bakers. Set in the English countryside in a spacious lawn tent, this reality show takes you three challenges--Signature, Technical, and Showstopper--each with their own set of themes and pitfalls.  I find this show so soothing to watch. I get inspired to try new bakes and challenge myself in the kitchen. I've even bought a few of the cookbooks that tie in with the show to try my hand at the pastries and breads they create in the tent! 
Kristine O.
Marrero, LA
229 reviews
Pop Culture Expert Level 2
This show is so wonderful! Mel and Sue are hilarious. Mary is a QUEEN. And Paul is the often curmudgeonly silver-fox-type. It's so much fun to watch the bakers make new and interesting bakes every week. I'm not sure how the show will look now that Paul is the only one remaining, but hopefully it maintains its charm.
Tara H.
78 reviews
This was a fun show to watch. The way these home made bakers baked was so impressive. I love to bake but there is no way I could make all of the challenges. The host are so nice and of course their accents are cool to listen to. It really inspired me to learn a few new things to bake but I always wanted to eat when watching the show 😂!!! 
Ana R.
116 reviews
I really enjoy baking shows (Cupcake Wars, the donut one, the one about making cool cakes) but I'm enjoying this one much more than the American ones I watch. Everyone seems very pleasant and supportive of eachother, and they all seem to truly love baking. I love that the contestants are all just regular people from all walks of life, they aren't all just bakers from fancy bakeries. Some are carpenters, some are teenagers, grandmas, grandfathers, IT guys, etc. It's a wonderful show and the hosts seem really kind.
Awesome to binge, since it only recently came out on US Netflix :)
Katherine V.
El Paso, TX
497 reviews
Pop Culture Expert Level 1
The BEST show on television? YES. I love Paul and Mary. Their scrummy bakes inspire me to get in the kitchen to experiment with my culinary prowess. Entertaining and educational. A must watch for anyone with a pulse.
Michaela C.
456 reviews
Pop Culture Expert Level 1
This is the most gentle and satisfying competition TV show you will ever see.  The contestants are kind and encouraging, the hosts are critical but not mean, and basically it's all about the food, not the drama.  The British-ness of it is great.
Victoria F.
Spring Valley, CA
366 reviews
Pop Culture Expert Level 4
This show is superb! Way better than cupcake or cake wars! The artwork done on this baking show is marvelous. The drama is so intense. The only thing you should be warned about it the creations look so good you'll practically be drooling as you watch. 
Amy S.
New York, NY
70 reviews
I love this show! It's a refreshing reality show because of how tasteful, supportive, and down to earth the contestants are. The goods they bake are just beautiful and leave my mouth watering for some sweets, breads, and pie every time. It's an absolute treat for your eyes to watch this show!
Anna K.
Brooklyn, NY
153 reviews
Where can you watch this in the US/online?
Amy S.
Woodside, NY
25 reviews
What's your favorite baked good from the show?

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