‘The Great British Baking Show’: Former Contestants Are Calling out the Show for Its Lack of Diversity
The Great British Baking Show is one of the most beloved competition series on TV. Each year, fans worldwide watch 12 amateur bakers from the U.K. compete against one another for the top baker prize. Though they are only offered a flower bouquet and a glass cake stand if they win the competition, it has helped open doors for many of them.
Still, as much as we adore hosts Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood and the contestants’ delectable bakes, the series is not without some glaring issues. Though there have been several contestants of color on the series over the past decade, the numbers certainly have not been as inclusive as they could have been. Also, the hosts and judges on the show have always been white.
Now, The Great British Baking Show‘s former contestants have called out its lack of diversity and inclusion.
‘The Great British Baking Show’s application process is grueling
Getting on The Great British Baking Show is a feat in and of itself. Prospective contestants don’t simply fill out an online form; it’s an extensive process that has deterred many people from even going through with the application. To begin, amateur bakers must complete an eight-page long application.
Once they’ve done that, they move on to a 45-minute phone interview. If they pass this round the next step is actually making baked goods and completing a screen test.
If all goes well with this round, the contestants will have an in-person interview with a producer and then a final round of interviews with a psychologist to make sure they can handle the pressure of being on-camera 12-hours a day.
‘The Great British Baking Show’ contestants revealed the worst parts about the show
Still, things aren’t much easier when contestants finally do make it on the show which is typically filmed on Saturdays and Sundays. “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.”
Season 9’s Anthony Amourdoux told Insider that he hated wearing the same clothes two days in a row. “We do have to wear the same clothes, unfortunately,” he explained. “You are sweating in those clothes and you’re proper stinky.”
‘The Great British Baking Show’ contestants just called out the show for its lack of diversity
As extensive as the vetting process is for The Great British Baking Show, contestants are calling out the show and its lack of diversity.
“I think it’s time for new judges,” Season 7’s Rav Bansal told Insider. “The show does a great job bringing together contestants from all walks of life that make up British society – different races, religions, sexualities – but I would like to see that same diversity reflected in the judges and hosts.”
Amourdoux described a moment when he was called out for not knowing how to make naan. “It was just awful. Sandi [Toksvig] – who was the presenter then – came out said, ‘You’re going to smash the next challenge’ and I came literally at the bottom of the pile,” Amourdoux said. “There is no naan down south. I can’t for the life of me ever remember my mom making naan.”