The Great British Baking Show: 8 Fun Facts You Might Not Know About The Series

Some of the judges on The Great British Baking Show.
(Image credit: Netflix)

The tent is up and it’s time for baking! The Great British Baking Show is a wonderful baking series that is something anyone who loves sweets and competition should watch, but with many seasons and plenty of amazing treats and contestants during each competition, there are sure to be some fun behind-the-scenes facts that you should know. 

From how hot the tent can get to how the contestants are actually picked for each season, there’s a lot to the Netflix-acquired hit series that fans might not be aware of. Here are eight fun facts about The Great British Baking Show that are just absolutely delightful.

Some of the judges on The Great British Baking Show.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Thousands Of People Apply To The Show Each Year

Unsurprisingly, with a big reality show like this, thousands of people submit applications and look to be a part of The Great British Baking Show. In a behind-the-scenes look at the series from BBC Good Food, Sam Beddoes, the series producer, went into the process of selecting contestants, and how many people often apply to the show:

More than 12,000 people apply to the show each year. Everyone sends in a form and we call those who we think are serious bakers. The show takes over their lives as the filming is done at weekends. About 300-400 people make it through to the first round of auditions, when they bring two bakes along. After a screen test, we invite 50-60 people to a second audition, where we give them a technical challenge and shove cameras in their faces, to see if they can talk and bake at the same time.

Talk about an intense audition process! I don’t think I could ever go through something like that, no matter how much I like to bake - I guess that’s why this series is one of the best reality shows on television

Delicious looking desserts on The Great British Baking Show

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Contestants Also Have To Meet With A Psychologist To Show They’re “Ready” For The Challenge 

Just because you might get through the initial screening process of the show and get the chance to bake in front of cameras, that doesn't mean you’re instantly a contestant on The Great British Baking Show. 

According to Insider, which did an interview with former contestants, you have to go through a psychological evaluation before you’re even on camera to see if you can handle the heat - pun intended. 

Ali Imdad and Antony Amourdoux, two former contestants on the show, confirmed that they, alongside anyone else that was chosen, had to meet with a psychologist prior to being picked to analyze if they can handle the stress of competing, as well as the chance of being “catapulted into fame” from the popularity of the show. From these results, the final group is whittled down to 12 or 13 accepted applicants. 

The judges in the Great British Baking Show: Holidays.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Contestants Also Need To Have Full Recipe Plans Ready In Advance  

If you think that you can just come into this show and not have a plan ready to go, then you’re not ready for The Great British Baking Show. 

In a behind-the-scenes look at the series from The Guardian, they revealed that the contestants must have at least “10 signature and showstopper bake recipes they would need if they made it all the way to final.” 

These are then studied by Chloe Avery, a food producer who is part of a team responsible for all of the edible portions of the series. 

The tent in The Great British Baking Show.

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Tent Can Get Quite Hot

In a question and answer video with Buzzfeed, former contestants all collectively agreed that the famous tent in which The Great British Baking Show is filmed can get very hot. 

Season 9 runner-up, Kim-Joy Hewlett, had a simple answer to "How hot does the tent get?"

Um, so…very hot.

Season 3 winner, John Whaite, agreed. 

Dante’s Inferno-hot.

Season 9 quarter-finalist, Manon Lagreve, also agreed, adding in her own personal story to the mix of when she baked and how hot it was.  

It reached 34 degrees (Celsius) for, uh Chocolate Week, and chocolate melts at 28 (Celsius), so yes, it gets really hot.

For those who don’t know, 34 degrees Celsius in Fahrenheit is 93.2 degrees. Damn, talking about literally working in a sauna! But, I bet those desserts were delicious. 

One of the contestants and the judges/hosts in the Great British Baking Show: Holidays.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Episodes Take Days To Complete, Besides Just The Baking Part 

The Guardian article also revealed that baking takes several days to complete. But, there’s much more that goes into each episode of The Great British Baking Show, where it’ll take longer than just a couple of days to finish an episode, usually because of the technical team that take several days before an episode starts to make sure that everything is working properly. 

Georgia May, who is one of the leaders of the technical team, revealed how much work goes into each episode days beforehand, noting that they're "in charge of everything to do with the food and the equipment."

Georgia later said that in order to properly test the ovens, they make a dozen Victorian sponge cakes and cook them all at the same time to make sure each oven is working perfectly. Then, they have to make sure they are level. After testing the baking supplies, they need to get ingredients for each of the contestants. 

We've got to make sure the contestants are happy. They can specify what brand of a product they want, we have to get it and then de-brand it for screen.

And, sometimes, contestants can make changes to what they want, and will request it the next day for Georgia's team to get. 

Sometimes they'll be awake in the middle of the night and they'll have decided that, oh, figs will be the thing that will make their bake.

The judges in The Great British Baking Show.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Don’t Worry, Because The Baked Goods Don’t Go To Waste

Both The Great British Baking Show - and its holiday counterpart, The Great British Baking Show - Holidays - create so many amazing dishes that you just wish you could jump through the screen and eat them yourselves. Sometimes, you might be wondering if all these delicious treats go to waste, but thankfully, that isn’t the case. 

In the previously mentioned Insider article, former contestant Armourdoux revealed that the treats that are made on the show are actually often fed to cast and crew members:

You'd think that'd be a lot of food, but there are more than 100 people in the tent. So as soon as they are allowed to eat it everything just disappears in minutes. The crew and production team dig in and each of the bakers is sent bites of each other's bakes so we all get to taste each other's as well.

I mean, with how good that food normally looks, I’d be digging into it too. It makes me want to try my hand at cooking more.  

Two of the judges in The Great British Baking Show.

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Judges Don’t Ever Make The Signature Bakes 

The Birmingham Mail revealed that the judges for The Great British Baking Show don’t actually ever eat their cakes that are shown off. A rep for Love Productions, the production company behind the series, said that their judges, specifically Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith, do not bake their cakes the day of filming, due to time constraints:

No, Paul and Mary don’t make the cakes. They never have. They are baked on the day and Paul and Mary could never do that.

One of the contestants in The Great British Baking Show.

(Image credit: Netflix)

It Sometimes Takes Time For The Judges To Try The Showstopper Desserts 

In the same Buzzfeed question-and-answer video mentioned before, the contestants all revealed that the judges don’t actually taste their showstopper desserts as soon as they're done. In fact, it takes more than a half hour sometimes for the judges to actually try it. Whaite confirmed this, and said:

It was probably about…forty minutes. The longest forty minutes of my life.

You could watch a whole episode of television during that time period of waiting. I don’t think I could ever be patient enough.

While there’s no release date for the next season of The Great British Baking Show set just yet, I’m sure that the desserts will be just as delicious-looking and the tent will be just as hot. I can’t wait to see what incredible showstopper desserts are served next on this amazing cooking competition show

Alexandra Ramos
Content Producer

Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!