Finally, we will get a slice of goodness as The Great British Bake Off returns to Channel 4 – and the most comforting TV show ever couldn’t be coming at a better time.
GBBO managed to finish filming despite the coronavirus pandemic by setting up a self-contained biosphere for six weeks, ensuring the show looks as normal as possible – don’t worry, there’ll be no shortage of soggy bottoms, burnt bakes and defrosted baked Alaskas.
We now also know the identities of our Great British Bake Off 2020 contestants who will be battling it out for Star Baker.
But what about our presenters and judges? There’s a new edition this year from Matt Lucas, who has replaced Sandi Toksvig on the show.
Read on for everything you need to know about the Great British Bake Off judges and presenters.
Great British Bake Off judges
The elder statesman of Bake Off, Paul is the only member of the team who has been with the show since its very beginning, originally judging alongside Mary Berry until the move to Channel 4 in 2017.
Paul also hosts the US version of the programme, The American Baking Competition and has served as head baker at a number of hotels in the UK and abroad, after first beginning his career at his father’s bakery when he was still in his teens.
Although it was Bake Off that really made Paul a household name, he had made some other TV appearances beforehand on shows including The Heaven and Earth Show and This Morning, while since making his name as a judge he has appeared on a number of programmes including his own show Paul Hollywood’s Pies and Puds.
Paul is known for his often harsh comments and for setting frequently challenging tasks in the signature challenge, while his coveted “Hollywood handshakes” reserved for the very best bakes have become a popular feature of the show.
South Africa-born Prue has become a fixture on Bake Off since making her debut as a replacement for Mary Berry in 2017 following the programme’s move to Channel 4.
Bake Off was not Prue’s first experience as a judge on a high-profile food show, having served as a judge on BBC Two show Great British Menu for eleven years prior to her Bake Off bow, and also appearing on Channel 4’s show My Kitchen Rules.
She has also written extensively about food, working as a columnist for a range of newspapers including The Guardian and The Daily Mirror as well as writing twelve cookery books – and also branching out into novel writing.
Aside from one slight blunder when she accidentally let slip the identity of the 2017 winner on Twitter before the final had aired, Prue has proved a more than competent replacement for Mary – and is now very much part of Bake Off royalty.
The Great British Bake Off presenters
Noel has proven a very popular Bake Off host since first stepping into the role following the move to Channel 4, forming an unlikely but brilliant double act with Sandi Toksvig.
With Sandi having left the show behind to pursue other opportunities, some fans might have been worried that Noel would jump ship as well – but the good news is that the comedian and all of his exuberant outfits are going absolutely nowhere!
Before Bake Off Noel was known for appearing in slightly more offbeat shows, first coming to prominence as one of the creators and stars (alongside Julian Barratt) of the hugely acclaimed cult comedy show The Mighty Boosh in the ’00s, before earning more fame as a team captain on Never Mind the Buzzcocks, while he also had a recurring role on the IT Crowd.
Noel might know little about baking but he is a great presence in the tent, often sharing jokes and developing amusing relationships with the amateur bakers – while his unusual introductions to the show are often a treat.
All sorts of names were linked with the vacant presenter role when Sandi Toksvig announced she was stepping away from the show, but in the end it was popular comedian Matt Lucas who was handed the role.
Of course, Matt might be new to Bake Off but he’s no stranger to most fans of British television, having most notably been one half of the Little Britain duo alongside David Walliams and appearing in a string of popular shows in the time since.
The comedian first got his breakthrough playing the score keeper George Dawes on Vic and Bob panel show Shooting Stars, and notable roles in his career have included playing Nardole alongside Peter Capaldi’s twelfth Doctor on Doctor Who, a range of film appearances and a hugely successful stint as Thénardier in Les Miserables on the West End.
On joining Bake Off, Matt said: “I’m chuffed to bits to be joining the most delicious show on television. I can’t wait to break bread with Noel, Prue and Paul and meet the brilliant bakers. And bearing in mind my love of cake, I’ve already ordered some much larger trousers in anticipation. See you in the tent!”
Given Bake Off’s excellent track record of replacing beloved departing judges and hosts, we can’t wait to see how Matt adapts to the famous tent!