The popular baking programme will return to screens this month, after being delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Great British Bake Off will return to Channel 4, and the start date and 12 contestants have been revealed.

The series was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic but producers have promised fans the show will look the same as it usually does, with Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith returning  as judges.

However, there will be at least one change. Comedian Matt Lucas replaces Sandi Toksvig as the programme’s co-host alongside Noel Fielding.

When was the series filmed?

Production of the 11th series was initially delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, with filming originally due to begin in April.

Work on the new series instead began in July, with cast and crew undertaking an intense six-week shoot that consisted of “two days on, two days off”.

Filming of the upcoming series is now complete, with producers wrapping the new series on 19 August.

This year’s contestants

Bake off 2020

Picture: Channel 4

Dave, 30, a security guard from Hampshire

Dave came to baking relatively late in life – only becoming an expert in the kitchen after leaving home.

Now living with his girlfriend, his baking style is described as “innovative and imaginative” while his strengths lie in bread – including pretzels, brioche rolls, and baguettes – as well as decoration.

When he’s not baking, Dave can be found pursuing his other passions – cars, DIY, and taking his dog and cat for walks.

Hermine, 39, an accountant from London

bake off

Picture: Channel 4

Hermine’s love of baking started when she spent time in the kitchen with her mother during her childhood in Benin, West Africa.

The French influence in Benin is evident in Hermine’s baking – she has a love of high-end patisserie and enjoys making intricate millefeuille, eclairs and entremets

Hermine moved to London in 2001 to pursue further education.

Marc, 51, a bronze resin sculptor from Cornwall

Marc took up baking bread as a form of therapy after losing his leg in a motorcycle accident in 2016.

From there, he began making cakes and pastries, from palmiers and chausson aux pommes to opera cakes and millefeuille.

He has also taken up climbing again, an activity he spent his youth doing.

Laura, 31, a digital manager from Kent

Laura started baking at the age of eight but it was only a few years ago she realised she had a flair for it.

She specialises in decoration and is proud to have mastered the art of piped buttercream flowers.

Laura also loves citrus and strong flavours and is said to enjoy putting a modern twist on old classics.

Loriea, 27, a diagnostic radiographer from Durham

bake off

Picture: Channel 4

Born and raised in Jamaica, Loriea uses baking as a means to celebrate her Caribbean roots.

She was taught how to bake as a five-year-old by her grandmother.

Loriea loves to include coconut, chillies and cinnamon in her food – and rarely follows a recipe exactly.

Lottie, 31, a pantomime producer from West Sussex

Lottie is another contestant whose love of baking was handed down by a family member.

Her Lancastrian great-grandmother was a fervent baker and Lottie has been watching cookery shows since she was a child.

She describes herself as a “perpetually frustrated perfectionist”.

Makbul, 51, an accountant from Greater Manchester

Makbul is a self-taught baker who first started cooking at home as a means to help support his mother.

He honed his skills through watching TV shows and reading books, as well as drawing inspiration from famous chefs.

Makbul says his strengths lie in pastry.

Linda, 61, a retired living team leader from East Sussex

Picture: Channel 4

Linda’s love of baking was sparked during childhood trips to her aunt’s dairy farm, where she was taught to make cakes topped with creamy icing.

She still buys homegrown produce from another aunt’s fruit farm and uses it in her baking.

Her strengths are in the classics and in home-comfort cooking, like her signature sausage rolls.

Mark, 32, a project manager from Liverpool

Mark said he fell in love with baking at a pie shop in Edinburgh, visiting every day while at university for the shop’s Mac ‘n’ Cheese pie.

He then started experimenting with making his own baked goods – including a lemon drizzle cake and multi-tiered wedding cakes.

His style is influenced by his Irish heritage, but also by the flavours of Africa and Asia, where he travels regularly for work.

Peter, 20, an accounting and finance student from Edinburgh

Bake off

Picture: Channel 4

Peter grew up on his mother’s home cooking and was inspired to start baking himself by Bake Off.

He has watched every series and has been baking seriously since he was 12.

Peter said he loves to honour his homeland in his cooking, using Scottish ingredients – including berries, whisky, oats and honey – whenever he can.

Rowan, 55, a music teacher from Worcestershire

Rowan is entirely self-taught and describes his baking style as ostentatious but tasteful.

French patisserie is his passion and he is drawn to fine, complex, layered cakes.

Rowan also enjoys decorating his bakes with flowers, preferably edible ones, using what is in bloom in his garden.

Sura, 31, a pharmacy dispenser from London

Picture: Channel 4

Sura has many Middle Eastern and Asian influences in her heritage and says she enjoys experimenting with ingredients and flavours from around the world.

She likes to improvise in the kitchen and rarely sticks rigidly to a recipe.

Sura said she enjoys working with fragrant and floral flavours such as cardamom, rose and orange blossom.

When will the Bake Off be back?

The Great British Bake Off will return at 8pm on  22 September on Channel 4.

About The Author

Rosalind Erskine

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related.

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