‘The Great British Baking Show’: Contestants Reveal the Worst Parts About Filming the Show
The Great British Baking Show has been a staple on British and American television for well-more than a decade. Though the series has shifted judges and hosts, with Paul Hollywood being the only original professional chef on the series, the love of the competition show has not waned.
Each year, amateur bakers from across the U.K. convene in the lush white tent in Welford Park in Berkshire to showcase their talent. The Great British Baking Show producers try and weed out the best of the best, and bakers must go through an extensive application process before they are chosen.
This includes an eight-page long application, an extensive interview including a 45-minute phone interview, making two baked goods, completing a screen test, and an in-person interview with a producer. In the final round, there is an in-person baking audition and a meeting with a psychologist.
As beloved as the series is, contestants have revealed some major downsides to making the show.
What happens to all of the bakes on ‘The Great British Baking Show’?
On each round or episode of The Great British Baking Show, the contestants are asked to make three things, a signature bake, a technical bake, and a showstopper. Since the season typically begins with 12 contestants, this is a ton of food.
Thankfully, BBC and Love Productions are extremely careful about not being wasteful on the show.
“It all gets eaten, but in a controlled way,” The Great British Baking Show’s chief home economist, Faenia Moore, told BBC Good Food. “It’s important for the bakers to eat what they’ve slaved over, so after each challenge, I make up a ‘baker’s basket’ to go to their lunchroom. Then any leftovers go to the crew lunch. Everyone gets quite excited so you have to say: ‘Step back, we need to do this in an orderly fashion.'”
Do ‘The Great British Baking Show’ contestants get paid?
Yet, as much work and time as the contestants put into the competition, they are not paid. While the judges and hosts are rumored to get paid upward of $450,000 per season, the contestants don’t take home any cash prizes.
Even if you’re crowned the season winner, you are only gifted a cake stand and some flowers. However, the exposure can be life-changing. Nadiya Hussain, who won the sixth season of the show in 2015, is now a famed cookbook author, and she has two Netflix series, Nadiya Bakes and Nadiya’s Time to Eat, among others.
‘The Great British Baking Show’ contestants just revealed the worst parts about the show
Still, to get to Hussain’s level, a ton of hard work is required, and it’s not all glamourous. Insider spoke to some former contestants who have spoken about the toll filming for 12 hours each day can take, the lack of privacy, and online trolling and bullying that some contestants endured once the show airs.
There’s also a secretive element since contestants aren’t allowed to tell anyone they are on the show. I just had to go to work and pretend I was A-OK,” Season 8’s Tom Hetherington told Insider. “Then Friday, I would get on a plane and do it all over again. It was one of the most exhausting periods of my life.”
Perhaps the most disgusting aspect of the show is that contestants are required to wear the same clothes for two days in a row for filming continuity. “We do have to wear the same clothes, unfortunately,” Season 9’s Anthony Amourdoux told Insider. “You are sweating in those clothes and you’re proper stinky.”
Luckily some contestants have learned to bring duplicates.