Meet Prue Leith and the Bake Off team
The Great British Bake Off is back. New faces Sandi Toksvig, Noel Fielding and Prue Leith join old favourite Paul Hollywood in the tent of dreams
If your happy place is in front of the telly eating cake and watching a baking dozen attempt to pipe, crimp and caramelise their way to glory, the wait is over. The Great British Bake
Off is back but on Channel 4. Woman’s Weekly visited that most mouth-watering Mecca – the white tent – to learn more about the new series.
Sandi Toksvig, 59, and Noel Fielding, 44
Bake Off has three new faces, but is it still the same?
SANDI: No, it’s a completely different programme. It’s now on ice!
There was a rumour it’d been given a modern twist.
SANDI: Everything’s cooked in a microwave, that’s why! No, nobody’s messing with it.
NOEL: I don’t think any of us came into Bake Off thinking we want to change anything.
Mel and Sue are big shoes to fill. Was that terrifying?
SANDI: No, what’s not to like? Bake Off is the most wonderful programme and we have a wonderful time. You just have to be yourself.
NOEL: I’m not Mel and Sandi’s not Sue, so we can’t try to emulate what they did. We just have to try to find our own way.
SANDI: We are an unlikely combination, though.
NOEL: But we got on immediately like a house on fire.
SANDI: We fell into a kind of showbiz marriage, apart from the sex, which is not going as well as we’d hoped!
1 Nadiya Hussain is the Bake Off’s most successful ever finalist, launching a career in TV, presenting, journalism (as a successful columnist for The Times Magazine) and as an author of a cookery book to tie in with her series.
2 A record-breaking 14 million people tuned in to watch the 2016 final of the show, which crowned Candice Brown as triumphant winner.
3 Bake Off has fuelled a leap of over 60% in sales of baking goods since the recession, with major supermarkets such as Tesco anticipating a spike of up to 40% in the sale of ingredients annually during ‘Bake Off season’.
4 Today, the British baking industry is worth £3.4 billion and ‘cake’ has officially replaced the word ‘chicken’ as the most searched-for word on the BBC Good Food website.
5 More than three out of five adults have baked at home this year, in comparison to just a third in 2011, and Bake Off now has spin-offs commissioned in 11 other countries.