Why the GBBO is so successful


Classic chocolate fudge sandwich cake

As the Great British Bakeoff enters its seventh season, it remains one of the most popular shows in the UK. When the show first premiered, no one could have predicted that it would become such a phenomenal success, but its popularity is evidenced not only by the continued high ratings, but also by the dozens of bestselling cookbooks from the contestants and creators. Judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood talk with The Guardian about the keys to the show's continued success.

While the show has drama, it's not the type of mean-spirited competition evidenced by other reality shows. Says Berry, "It appeals to children, grannies, workers, everybody, because it's gentle." This is not to say that the contestants aren't serious about winning. Hollywood notes that as the program gets bigger, the participants want to challenge each other to be the best baker in the show's trademark tent. 

The GBBO's influence can be measured by more than the number of viewers or cookbooks it produces. Stores have noted an increase in the sales of flour and cooking chocolate as each new season premieres. The show has inspired people to bake more at home, especially young people. But as the show becomes ever more popular, the number of applicants to the program is actually shrinking. People have seen the level of competition increase, and think they may not have the skills necessary to compete. There are still plenty of hopefuls, however, so the new season should continue to please.


  • kprovost  on  8/11/2016 at 10:56 AM

    I absolutely love the GBBO. It is so much better than anything the Food Network or Cooking Channel have to offer. I really just miss seeing people actually cook something that I can make as opposed to showing us restaurants, going on road trips, and competing with odd ingredients. None of this helps me in the kitchen. The GBBO inspires.

  • bevie19  on  8/27/2016 at 7:22 PM

    I wholly agree kprovost. Food Network, The Cooking Channel have limited real cooking. I have watched every episode of the GBBO (or GBBS in the US) that has aired in the US and also been able to watch the very first season on youtube. I really also like when they provide the history for certain of the bakes. Very interesting, informative, and fun. The hosts are also hilarious and perfect for this show.

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