Sky Studios has confirmed that the 11th season of The Great British Bake Off is two weeks into production and is likely to return to our screens later in 2020.
Like almost all other TV productions, Bake Off was derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic and there was speculation that the much-loved Channel 4 bakery competition wouldn’t return until 2021. Bake Off is produced by Love Productions, which is now owned by Sky Studios.
According to Deadline, Sky Studios CEO Gary Davey and chief commercial officer Jane Millichip allayed fans’ fears on Wednesday and revealed that filming was going very well. There has also been speculation that it might have moved away from its traditional marquee, for reasons related to the pandemic.
Millichip would not be drawn on this, but she 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.”
Matt Lucas joined the Bake Off presenting line-up in March, taking over from Sandi Toksvig, and he along with all of the cast and crew have been quarantining in the period leading up to the start of production, so they could avoid the social distancing rules and shoot conventionally.
There is no exact date on when Bake Off will premiere in 2020 (pre-COVID it was expected to start filming in May), but it’s difficult to imagine Channel 4 going with anything other than an autumn launch.
During lockdown judge Paul Hollywood speculated with Radio Times about a premiere date: “If we can get started, we could turn around the programme pretty quickly and still have it out in late summer or early autumn.”
Fellow judge Prue Leith told The Andrew Marr Show in May: “It’s impossible at the moment because there are really a lot of people on set when we film, but I’m sure they’ll find a way as soon as they can, they’re determined.”
We’ll bring the very latest Bake Off news as soon as possible, but in the meantime if you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV guide.