Inside the Great British Bake Off with new contestants living together in a hotel for 6 weeks and regular Covid testing

THE Great British Bake Off returns to TV screens this week and now the details about how this year's series was filmed has been revealed.

Comedian Matt Lucas will join Noel Fielding in hosting the hit show as 12 new contestants attempt to impress Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith with their baking skills.

The upcoming series was filmed at Down Hall Hotel in Essex after five years of taking place at Welford Park in Berkshire.

All cast and crew members underwent regular COVID-19 tests following the coronavirus pandemic and were in somewhat of an isolation bubble.

GBBO producers revealed they had drawn up a list of safety rules "longer than the Bible" before filming started for the new socially-distanced series.

During lockdown, the Channel 4 series signed an exclusive deal with Down Hall to ensure that they could hire the entire property out in late July for filming.

According to The Observer, the country house hotel and spa is situated not far from judge Paul's £1 million Grade II listed farmhouse in Kent.

The property, which sits on 110 acres of land, was hired out on a self-catering basis with 25 members of staff on hand to help out during filming.

Bake Off is usually filmed over 12 weeks with the contestants travelling to and from the set, but this year it was completely different.

The publication claims that the bakers were allowed to move into the hotel with their partners, children or pet dogs – if they wished to do so – and were even provided with child and dog care on set.

Filming lasted six weeks but contestants had to quarantine for nine days with the 130 people involved with the show tested three times before filming.

Creative Director of Love Productions, Kieran Smith, told the Observer: "The whole point of the bubble [was] being able to be close to each other or pat people on the back, or it wouldn't be Bake Off."

The new measures also meant that items being used on the show had to be deep cleaned upon arrival – including packets of flour.

The Sun previously revealed that Bake Off had made the decision to ban older contestants from taking part due to being more vulnerable when it came to the virus.

An insider said: "There's a real sense of urgency to get the next series of Bake Off in the can, considering it's one of Channel 4's biggest draws.

"That means the nation's baking grans and grandads have been deemed too high risk. Bake Off's wizened contestants are often the heart of the show.

"Val, who would 'listen' to cakes to work out if they were done, and rapping septuagenarian Flo became favourites."

However, one thing that won't be missing from the new series is Paul's famous handshake – awarded to those who really impress him.

Kieran confirmed that Paul had been given the go ahead to shake hands where he sees fit when it comes to the epic baking tasks.

Last week, the new line-up for Bake Off was revealed and it includes an armed guard and a panto boss.

Of course, all of the eleven bakers come with emotional backstories that viewers are bound to hear when the show kicks off on September 22.

Source: Read Full Article