“The Great British Bake Off” is now two weeks back into production and will likely return to television later this year, according to producer Love Productions’ parent company Sky Studios.
The baking competition series, which is shown by Channel 4 in the UK and Netflix in the U.S. (where it is known as “The Great British Baking Show”), was blown off course by the pandemic after it was meant to begin filming in April.
But Sky Studios CEO Gary Davey and chief commercial officer Jane Millichip offered fans some good news on Wednesday, with the former revealing that filming is “going very well.”
Cast and crew, including new presenter Matt Lucas, were quarantined in the run-up to the shoot to allow close interaction on-set. There have also been reports that the show has moved to a more COVID-friendly location from its usual Welford Park home.
Millichip would not comment on this directly, but told a virtual Broadcasting Press Guild lunch: “It’s all happening in deep secret, somewhere in darkest deepest Britain in the shires.”
Davey added: “As you can imagine, there was a lot of work collaboratively between Love Productions and our COVID protocols team just to get that right.”
“Bake Off” was not included in a press pack detailing Channel 4’s autumn TV highlights, raising questions over whether it will be delayed until 2021, but Millichip said: “You will have your victoria sponge this year.”
Sky Studios, which took full control of Love Productions in February, had 29 shows across Europe derailed by the coronavirus pandemic and is now back into production on nine of these titles.
Davey told journalists of the Broadcasting Press Guild that the Comcast-owned company has drawn up a 55-page “bible” of safety protocols and is working on the assumption that shows will have to shoot through further coronavirus spikes. “It’s prudent to do that because having to shut down a big production again mid-shoot would be really quite catastrophic,” he said.
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