Our Tuesday evenings have been restored again, because The Great British Bake Off is back!


The Channel 4 baking show returned last night (13th September) and introduced us to the 12 new contestants in the Great British Bake Off 2022 line-up.

For the first Bake Off theme, the contestants took on Cake Week, but it wasn't a piece of cake for everyone!

While some managed to impress judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood, with the first Star Baker for 2022 being revealed, one baker crumbled under pressure and became the first person to leave Bake Off this year.

Here, in his brand-new Britalian Bake Off RadioTimes.com column, last year's winner Giuseppe Dell'Anno shares his thoughts on the first episode, while giving his predictions for season 13.

Giuseppe on The Great British Bake Off 2022 launch

It was as usual, absolutely enjoyable! Bake Off never fails to deliver. I sent a couple of messages to the crew yesterday and Matt [Lucas] got back to me actually, and I said: "You guys did it again!" It was a smashing episode. It ticked all the boxes. So, kudos to them.

Giuseppe on this year's line-up

Group Photo of Bakers in the Tent (L to R (back) James, Sandro, Maxy, Kevin, Abdul (front) Carole (pink/purple hair), Maisam, Syabira, Rebs, Dawn, William, Janusz)
The Great British Bake Off Class of 2022 Channel 4

The first thing that got my attention was the fact that, again, they went for a very, very carefully, gender-balanced cast. It was six males and six females. It was very diverse. They were careful in trying to represent all around the United Kingdom. So, there are people from Northern Ireland and Scotland. But they've gone beyond the borders, and there are a lot of representatives of different ethnicities there and that's what I find particularly refreshing! We've got people from Angola, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Libya - you name it! I think the beauty of that is that these people, like I did last year, bring their own heritage to their baking.

The one to watch: Syabira

Syabira Channel 4

I must say that when I first read the bios, the one person that stood out to me was Syabira. She just looks delightful and endearing. She just comes across as someone delightful to talk to - this is just me judging at face value! She's got a PhD, which means that she's got a clinical, technical mind and that always helps. And if she's gone through the PhD, she must be able to cope with stress. So I had good vibes from her to start with and I have to say that yesterday, her performance didn't disappoint.

Giuseppe predicts...

Janusz Channel 4

A few people stood out! Syabira is one, and of course Star Baker Janusz. If he doesn't make it to the final I would be very, very surprised. He nailed almost every challenge yesterday. He was an absolute winner from from the first minute.

And the other two for me who did a decent job yesterday are Abdul and Sandro - I was actually speaking to him on Instagram yesterday and I told him: "You are fair competition, my friend!" He's handsome, he's buff, he's sweet, funny, and bakes really well. I really hope he's got something wrong! I think that if we don't get any major surprises that Sandro, Syabira and Janusz might end up in the final.

The "curse" of the tent

Will Channel 4

Will was the first person to go home. It's devastating to go out on the first night and it's the curse of the tent. When the audience is there, things just don't work the way they should. I think that Prue defined his Signature as "disappointing", so it must have been heartbreaking to hear that.

There's little things you see that tell you the guy just couldn't keep his head cool enough. He forgot to put his timer on - that's one of the typical things that the tent does to you because you feel under a lot of pressure. I'm sure he's a great baker, but he experienced this anxiety that so many people suffer from whenever they're there. I felt sorry for him, but unfortunately, what he did yesterday, it was a no-brainer – he had to be the first one out.

More like this

"Rebs could surprise viewers"

Although there are some obvious winners, like Janusz and Syabira, we might have some surprises over the next few weeks because we might see some of these promising bakers blossom. Again with the casting, they did a great job because they all show a lot of potential. So for example, Rebs got a couple of things wrong, but none of those things were disastrous!

Great British Bake Off 2022 contestant Rebs
Great British Bake Off 2022 contestant Rebs Mark Bourdillon/ Channel 4

Tip of the week: Red velvet trick

I'm in no position to give tips to anybody about the red velvet cake, because it's not one on my favourites - I prefer a genoise sponge, but I had a look at Paul's recipe and very smartly the guy is adding mascarpone and double cream to the cheese frosting. So it's a different type of cream cheese frosting that gives it the structure that you need to hold it up, so it doesn't collapse. Paul has been very clever in suggesting that change and it's good that the recipe is on the website for everybody to use because it makes it easier.

Giuseppe answers...

If you were on the show this year, who would be your biggest competition?

I wasn't worried about anybody in particular when I was on it last year, because I wasn't worried about winning. The thing that worried me the most was actually me failing to deliver anything. If I have to choose, I'd have to say the same names for the people I'd imagine would be stiff competition - Sandro, Syabira and Janusz.

Is there anything you'd like to change on Bake Off?

I think the production team is actively avoiding any change. They say if it isn't broken, don't fix it. They are actively trying to keep it as consistent as possible, and I think it's part of the comforting element of knowing what to expect. I'll tell you something though, I've tried to bribe the executive producer and said: "Can I please come back on the show and just hand over the trophy to the new winner?", which is something that they do in other editions in other countries and she very diplomatically didn't answer!

A Week in the Life of Giuseppe

So this week I was supposed to be at the National Television Awards, but the week has calmed down significantly because of the sudden events last week. I've mostly been involved in the launch of the new season of Bake Off, doing a few interviews, working on my column, and then getting ready for the promotional work for my cookbook, Giuseppe's Italian Bakes.

Giuseppe's Italian Bakes cover

To make your own show-stopping bakes at home, Giuseppe’s debut cookbook, Giuseppe’s Italian Bakes (Quadrille, £20) is available to pre-order, out 13th October.

The Great British Bake Off airs on Channel 4 on Tuesdays at 8pm. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide or visit our dedicated Entertainment hub for the latest news.


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