'GBBO' bosses reveal behind-the-scenes operation that allowed 11th series to happen

Amy Johnson
·2 min read
'Great British Bake Off' judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith. (C4)
'Great British Bake Off' judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith. (C4)

Production bosses behind the Great British Bake Off have revealed the lengths they had to go to to ensure the upcoming 11th series could be filmed safely.

Filing had been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic but this week it was announced shooting on the season had wrapped, apparently all thanks to the “mammoth sacrifice” made by cast and crew.

Kieran Smith, creative director at Love Productions which makes the show for Channel 4, told Broadcast: "So many people rely on Bake Off for work that we knew we had to work out a plan.”

Read more: Sandi Toksvig quits as GBBO presenter

The detailed operation saw the programme's production crew, approximately 120 people, living in a self-contained biosphere for six weeks in a South-East location so they did not have to socially distance.

The publication reports all cast and crew were housed alongside 20 hotel staff members, 80 members of the productions team and around 20 “children, chaperones and dogwalkers”.

All involved were required to self-isolate for nine days and had to take three tests to ensure they did not have the virus before entering the hotel. Over the six weeks, the team worked "two days on, two days off".

"It was a massive operation, we even [built] 12 practice kitchens for the bakers to use on their days off," Smith said.

Meanwhile due to the stringent planning, managing director Letty Kavanagh added: "It felt like the safest place in Britain."

An air date for the 11th series is yet to be announced but it will see the return of judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood along with presenter Noel Fielding.

Read more: Noel Fielding expecting second child with girlfriend Lliana Bird

Matt Lucas has taken over the role left vacant by Sandi Toksvig. Smith remarked of the newcomer: "It felt like he had always been there."