Do ‘The Great British Bake Off’ Contestants Get Paid?

For over nine seasons we’ve watched contestants on The Great British Bake Off bake for their lives. In the notorious white tent, amateur bakers have simmered, whipped, blended, and kneaded — all with the hopes of being crowned the winner of The Great British Bake Off. Each season, the competition is held for 10 weeks. The competitors are tasked with a series of signature, technical, and showstopping challenges that are typically themed. For example, one week they might be battling bread and another week pastry might be what needs conquering.

Though we learn a bit more about the participants and what they do when they aren’t facing the wrath of Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, or Mary Berry, with so much time dedicated to the competition we wanted to know if the contestant were being compensated for their time. This is what we discovered about The Great British Bake Off contestants’ salary.

The Great British Bake Off

The Great British Bake Off | Channel 4

No salary in sight

Since The Great British Bake-Off is filmed on the weekends, contestants don’t need to take any time off from their day jobs. Instead, many of them spend their evenings and the days leading up to the competition preparing for their various signature challenges and epic showstopper bakes. Bakers who apply for the contest are super serious about their craft, and they are expected to put in the time (and money) that they need to prepare to face the judges.

Just like most reality competitions, the contestants are probably given a hot meal or two, but the rest of their payment is just the love of baking.

The winner…gets nothing

Even when the winner of The Great British Bake-Off is crowned, there is no expectation of prize money, a spin-off, or a cookbook deal of any kind. Generally, the winner is given a bouquet of flowers, an engraved glass cake stand, and bragging rights. From there, it’s up to them to parallel their success into a career, if that’s something they want to do.

Edd Kimber was the first ever winner of The Great British Bake Off back in 2010. After winning Season 1, Kimber snagged a position at  Raymond Blanc’s famous pastry kitchen. He also earned massive checks from his books The Boy who BakesSay it with Cake: Over 80 Show Stoppers from the Boy who Bakes, and Patisserie Made Simple: From Macaron to Millefeuille and More.

Queen Elizabeth II receives a birthday cake from Nadiya Hussain, winner of the Great British Bake Off, during her 90th Birthday

Queen Elizabeth II receives a birthday cake from Nadiya Hussain, winner of the Great British Bake Off, during her 90th Birthday | John Stillwell – WPA Pool/Getty Images

However, the most successful Great British Bake Off contestant of all time is Season 6 winner, Nadiya Hussain. The former stay-at-home mom dazzled judges with her bakes and treats. Hussain has written several best selling cookbooks, she’s also appeared on a series of other cooking shows including Netflix’s The Big Family Cooking Show, written columns in magazines and newspapers and she was selected to bake Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday cake when the monarch turned 90.

There is something endearing about a show where the contestants are truly just in it because they love what they do. That’s probably why The Great British Bake Off continues to bring in viewers season after season. We can’t wait to see what the new bakers cook up in the years to come. Hopefully, Mary Berry will also make a return at some point.

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