The Great British Bake Off returns

Great British Bakeoff

It might be hard to believe, but the Great British Bake Off returns on 1 August for another season. The show has spawned several new stars and at least 20 cookbooks, some by contestants and some from hosts Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. The Guardian caught up with the show's presenters, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, to discuss the show as it approaches the premiere of its sixth season.

When asked how they retain their "famous normalness" when working on the biggest show on TV, Sue replies "We're the same people we were when we met as teenagers. We've had lots of ups and downs, so we don't link our career success to our personal happiness. You learn how to do that when you lose everything and become very badly unemployed, as we did." Mel chimes in, saying "It helps having extremely grounded families."

The pair discuss what they think the future holds and reply in their trademark off-the-cuff manner. They get a bit more serious when discussing the contestants, however. Says Sue ""A lot of people, women particularly, have come to this programme to find out who they are. They've spent a life doing things for other people, they're mothers, daughters, and now it's time for them. To see that spark of independence and self-worth is really something. I don't want to be too meta about it, because it is just a show about cakes, but..." and this is where Mel chimes in, " means a lot to people."

When talking with Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, the focus of the conversation changes a bit. They discuss their relationship, which is described as "most similar to that of a stubborn son and his long suffering mother." Mainly, though, they talk about the contestants. When asked why he thinks they want to be on the show, Paul states "It's about the challenge. To push themselves. Where's your benchmark? You want to be the best. It takes a certain type of person. A strong person. Confident. You have to be a pretty good baker as well." Mary notes that over the seasons, "the bakers have really changed. Now they're savvy, and they know what's expected of them. The standard has gone up. Paul and I are trying to get it back to basics."

Are you planning to watch the sixth season of the show? Which of the show's many cookbooks is your favourite?


  • hander60  on  7/30/2015 at 10:34 AM

    Does anyone know if this will start in the US on the same date?

  • ellabee  on  7/30/2015 at 12:13 PM

    Doubtful that it will air on the same date in the US. To date, the show has been picked up only by PBS, and is a season (or more?) behind. So if suspense about winners & losers is a big part of the enjoyment, US enthusiasts need to keep ears & eyes stopped...

  • kimtrev  on  7/30/2015 at 3:26 PM

    It looks like it will air about a month later. I can live with that :)

  • hander60  on  7/31/2015 at 10:21 AM

    Thank You!

  • Jane  on  7/31/2015 at 3:07 PM

    I love this show and I'm so happy we are getting the 6th series so soon after it airs in the UK. I just recently discovered that all the earlier series are available on YouTube. They aren't always good quality but worth watching anyway.

  • eliza  on  8/16/2015 at 5:01 PM

    I will watch but only on YouTube. Love the show, especially the 2 hosts.

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