Great British Bake Off Has Already Resumed Filming 'In Deep Secret' Amid Coronavirus Changes

Ash Percival
·3-min read

You’re reading our series Summer’s Not Cancelled, where we celebrate summer in this new normal. From rediscovering nature and cherishing time with friends and family, to virtual festivals and unforgettable staycations – summer’s still here, it’s just different.

Great British Bake Off fans will be getting a slice of action from the tent this year after all, as it has been confirmed filming has resumed “in deep secret”.

Production on the 11th series of the hit baking competition was postponed earlier this year due to the coronavirus outbreak, with question marks over whether the show would be able to go ahead.

However, Jane Millichip – chief commercial officer of Sky Studios, the parent company of Bake Off producer Love Productions – has said filming has already started in secret.

Bake Off judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood, with host Noel Fielding and former presenter Sandi Toksvig (Photo: Channel 4)
Bake Off judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood, with host Noel Fielding and former presenter Sandi Toksvig (Photo: Channel 4)

According to Deadline, she told a virtual Broadcasting Press Guild lunch: “It’s all happening in deep secret, somewhere in darkest deepest Britain in the shires,” she said, refusing to confirm rumours the show has moved to a new location as part of coronavirus safety measures.

“You will have your Victoria sponge this year,” she added.

Gary Davey, CEO of Sky Studios, said that production was “going very well”, adding: “As you can imagine, there was a lot of work collaboratively between Love Productions and our Covid protocols team just to get that right.”

The cast of contestants, judges and presenters, along with the show’s crew, were quarantined in the run-up to the start of filming to allow close interaction.

Back in March, it was confirmed Matt Lucas would replace Sandi Toksvig as the host of Bake Off, alongside Noel Fielding.

Matt Lucas (Photo: PA)
Matt Lucas (Photo: PA)

Sandi announced she would be leaving the Bake Off tent in January after three series at the helm.

She and Noel joined the show after it moved to Channel 4 from the BBC in 2017, replacing original hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins.

Explaining her decision to quit, she said at the time: “When stepping down from a job it is quite common for people to say they are doing so in order to spend more time with their family.

“Unusually I am departing from the Great British Bake Off so I can spend more time with my other work. As my waistline will testify, Bake Off is an all-consuming show.”

Of his appointment, Matt said in a statement: “I’m chuffed to bits to be joining the most delicious show on television. I can’t wait to break bread with Noel, Prue and Paul and meet the brilliant bakers.

“And bearing in mind my love of cake, I’ve already ordered some much larger trousers in anticipation. See you in the tent!”

Judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith are also believed to be returning for the show’s 11th series, which is due to air on Channel 4 later this year.

READ MORE:

Bake Off Judge Prue Leith Claims The Way She Brought Up Her Children 'Would Not Be Acceptable Today'

Sue Perkins Reveals 'Painful' Paul Hollywood Fall Out That's Left Her 'Devastated'

Paul Hollywood 'Surprised' And 'Upset' By Sandi Toksvig's Bake Off Exit

#BinGate

The moment none of us could have anticipated would be one of the top entertainment stories of 2014, Iain Watters made headlines when his ruined Baked Alaska wound up in the bin, which he then frustratedly presented to the judges as his finished product.
The moment none of us could have anticipated would be one of the top entertainment stories of 2014, Iain Watters made headlines when his ruined Baked Alaska wound up in the bin, which he then frustratedly presented to the judges as his finished product.

Diana gets bombarded with hate

The ramifications of #BinGate were, as previously mentioned, unprecentedly massive. Mainly for Iain's fellow contestant, Diana Beard, who found herself on the receiving end of a torrent of abuse, when she was accused of sabotaging Iain's Baked Alaska.<br /><br />Paul Hollywood and Sue Perkins both piped up to defend Diana, while a statement from the BBC insisted: "Diana removing Iain's ice cream from the freezer for less than a minute was in no way responsible for Iain’s departure."
The ramifications of #BinGate were, as previously mentioned, unprecentedly massive. Mainly for Iain's fellow contestant, Diana Beard, who found herself on the receiving end of a torrent of abuse, when she was accused of sabotaging Iain's Baked Alaska.

Paul Hollywood and Sue Perkins both piped up to defend Diana, while a statement from the BBC insisted: "Diana removing Iain's ice cream from the freezer for less than a minute was in no way responsible for Iain’s departure."

Paul Hollywood makes the jump to Channel 4

Remember when Bake Off was first announced to have made the jump to Channel 4? Does anyone feel in hindsight the ensuing manic press coverage might have been an overreaction?<br /><br />Anyway, while Mary Berry decided not to jump ship, as did presenters Mel and Sue, out of "loyalty" to the BBC, Paul stuck with the show when it moved to its new home, and people were <i>not </i>happy, with many accusing him of "following the dough" and betraying the BBC.<br /><br />Again, in hindsight... slight overreaction, no?
Remember when Bake Off was first announced to have made the jump to Channel 4? Does anyone feel in hindsight the ensuing manic press coverage might have been an overreaction?

Anyway, while Mary Berry decided not to jump ship, as did presenters Mel and Sue, out of "loyalty" to the BBC, Paul stuck with the show when it moved to its new home, and people were not happy, with many accusing him of "following the dough" and betraying the BBC.

Again, in hindsight... slight overreaction, no?

Behind-the-scenes tension

Shortly after the new-look Channel 4 team was announced, the press was full of reports that they weren't getting along, particularly in comparison to their predecessors, with rumours suggesting Noel and Paul were finding it particularly difficult to locate common ground.<br /><br />A Channel 4 spokesperson insisted, via a fairly clumsy pun: "[The team] get on brilliantly and together have all the ingredients for a show-stopping series."
Shortly after the new-look Channel 4 team was announced, the press was full of reports that they weren't getting along, particularly in comparison to their predecessors, with rumours suggesting Noel and Paul were finding it particularly difficult to locate common ground.

A Channel 4 spokesperson insisted, via a fairly clumsy pun: "[The team] get on brilliantly and together have all the ingredients for a show-stopping series."

Gay sex joke lands Paul and Noel in hot water

When Paul and Noel tried to hit back at rumours they weren't getting on themselves, they quickly landed themselves in hot water after tweeting this picture. <br /><br />"This should put to rest any rumours that me and blue eyes don't get on," Noel tweeted. <br /><br />This was met negatively by some fans on Twitter, who claimed the picture was offensive and demeaned gay sex for a joke. 
When Paul and Noel tried to hit back at rumours they weren't getting on themselves, they quickly landed themselves in hot water after tweeting this picture.

"This should put to rest any rumours that me and blue eyes don't get on," Noel tweeted.

This was met negatively by some fans on Twitter, who claimed the picture was offensive and demeaned gay sex for a joke.

Ruby gets accused of playing up to the judges

Ruby Tandoh found herself in the midst of some really unfair criticism back in 2013, when she was accused of crying to win the judges' sympathy, and even flirting with Paul Hollywood.<br /><br />She later blasted these claims when she came out two years after, insisting that her detractors were "giant shitting misogynists", which we must admit is hard to argue with.
Ruby Tandoh found herself in the midst of some really unfair criticism back in 2013, when she was accused of crying to win the judges' sympathy, and even flirting with Paul Hollywood.

She later blasted these claims when she came out two years after, insisting that her detractors were "giant shitting misogynists", which we must admit is hard to argue with.

No but seriously, who thought this icing was a good idea?

Before the 2016 series had even begun, viewers took to Twitter to voice their disdain when the male and female contestants were given blue or pink icing to pose with, depending on their gender, insisting this perpetrated antiquated stereotypes and even added to larger problems of sexism.
Before the 2016 series had even begun, viewers took to Twitter to voice their disdain when the male and female contestants were given blue or pink icing to pose with, depending on their gender, insisting this perpetrated antiquated stereotypes and even added to larger problems of sexism.

Flora's Aga

Flora Shedden managed to get on the wrong side of viewers back in 2015, when she complained that the show's ovens were tricky for her to use as she had an Aga at home.<br /><br /><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/08/19/great-british-bake-off-flora-aga-cooker_n_8008216.html?utm_hp_ref=great-british-bake-off">Addressing the criticism she faced</a> after some viewers accused her of being “too posh” for the show, she later said: 'Where I live the majority of people have Agas as a means of heating, not just cooking.“They are a very sensible option during Scottish winters. As we have no heating in the house, it’s a lifesaver. <br /><br />"Ours is 50 years old and was salvaged from a house fire. I did find it baffling that it made headlines."
Flora Shedden managed to get on the wrong side of viewers back in 2015, when she complained that the show's ovens were tricky for her to use as she had an Aga at home.

Addressing the criticism she faced after some viewers accused her of being “too posh” for the show, she later said: 'Where I live the majority of people have Agas as a means of heating, not just cooking.“They are a very sensible option during Scottish winters. As we have no heating in the house, it’s a lifesaver.

"Ours is 50 years old and was salvaged from a house fire. I did find it baffling that it made headlines."

Noel's game of Hide & Seek attracts Ofcom complaints

<a href="https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/noel-fielding-great-british-bake-off-fridge_uk_59f1a3aae4b07d838d323b67?utm_hp_ref=uk-noel-fielding">Noel Fielding attracted over 50 Ofcom complaints</a> in 2018, when during a skit with co-host Sandi Toksvig, he hid in a fridge. <br /><br />Plenty of people voiced their disdain, suggesting Noel was setting a potentially dangerous example by encouraging young viewers to imitate him. <br /><br />However, the TV watchdog later ruled the programme had not breached broadcasting guidelines, saying in a statement: “We found that the scene was very brief and occurred later in the programme, when younger children were least likely to be watching.”<br /><br />Ofcom also pointed out that since the 1960s, fridges are fitted with a device meaning they can be opened from the inside, should someone climb into one as Noel did.
Noel Fielding attracted over 50 Ofcom complaints in 2018, when during a skit with co-host Sandi Toksvig, he hid in a fridge.

Plenty of people voiced their disdain, suggesting Noel was setting a potentially dangerous example by encouraging young viewers to imitate him.

However, the TV watchdog later ruled the programme had not breached broadcasting guidelines, saying in a statement: “We found that the scene was very brief and occurred later in the programme, when younger children were least likely to be watching.”

Ofcom also pointed out that since the 1960s, fridges are fitted with a device meaning they can be opened from the inside, should someone climb into one as Noel did.

Nadiya faces the wrath of The Sun

Nadiya's Bake Off victory is still a guaranteed tear-jerker for many of us, but sadly not everyone was as pleased with her win.<br /><br />An article published in The Sun in the aftermath described it as 'ideological warfare' intended to spark a 'multi-cultural jig of politically-correct joy' at the BBC.<br /><br />Thankfully, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/10/08/the-sun-nadiya-hussain-gbbo-winner_n_8261848.html?utm_hp_ref=great-british-bake-off">Twitter had Nadiya's back</a>.
Nadiya's Bake Off victory is still a guaranteed tear-jerker for many of us, but sadly not everyone was as pleased with her win.

An article published in The Sun in the aftermath described it as 'ideological warfare' intended to spark a 'multi-cultural jig of politically-correct joy' at the BBC.

Thankfully, Twitter had Nadiya's back.

Enwezor Nzegwu's shop-bought icing raises eyebrows

Shop-bought icing, though. What was he thinking?
Shop-bought icing, though. What was he thinking?

Paul gets too generous with his Hollywood Handshake

Paul's Hollywood Handshake has been a mainstay of the series, signifying the ultimate seal of approval from the judge and therefore becoming something all the bakers seek to get. <br /><br />However, during the 2018 series, <a href="https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/is-paul-hollywood-giving-out-too-many-handshakes-in-this-series-of-bake-off_uk_5ba245d1e4b046313fc12ec5?utm_hp_ref=uk-paul-hollywood">Paul made headlines</a> with the amount he was giving out, with many claiming he was playing it too fast and loose with them compared to previous years. <br /><br /><a href="https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/paul-hollywood-admits-handshakes-are-too-much-promises-they-will-almost-stop_uk_5badfab5e4b0425e3c2288e2?utm_hp_ref=uk-paul-hollywood">Paul later admitted</a> he needed to "raise his barrier" as the standard of baking had "got better and better".
Paul's Hollywood Handshake has been a mainstay of the series, signifying the ultimate seal of approval from the judge and therefore becoming something all the bakers seek to get.

However, during the 2018 series, Paul made headlines with the amount he was giving out, with many claiming he was playing it too fast and loose with them compared to previous years.

Paul later admitted he needed to "raise his barrier" as the standard of baking had "got better and better".

This squirrel

Bake Off is supposed to celebrate everything good about the great British summer, though we think the inclusion of this squirrel's giant testicles in the final edit was possibly 'a bit much'.
Bake Off is supposed to celebrate everything good about the great British summer, though we think the inclusion of this squirrel's giant testicles in the final edit was possibly 'a bit much'.

Paul apologises for Nazi picture

Paul had to publicly apologise in 2017 when an <a href="https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/paul-hollywood-nazi-uniform-picture-great-british-bake-off_uk_59b51275e4b0354e44125bfd?utm_hp_ref=uk-paul-hollywood">old picture of him dressed as a Nazi at a fancy dress party resurfaced</a>. <br /><br />After the picture was published in The Sun, he said: “I am absolutely devastated if this caused offence to anyone, the picture was taken 14 years ago en route to a Comedy TV Shows Themed New Year’s Eve Party and a group of us dressed up as characters from the classic TV show ’Allo ’Allo! <br /><br />“Everyone who knows me, knows I am incredibly proud of the efforts of those, including my own grandfather, who fought against the Nazis during the war.”<br /><br />His apology was not well received by all, with former contestant Ruby Tandoh tweeting: “absolutely creasin at ppl telling me “IT WAS TEN YEARS AGO” as if the nazis weren’t bad back then. guys he was still a middle aged man when he did this lol. i don’t think he’s a nazi i just think he’s absurd [sic].”
Paul had to publicly apologise in 2017 when an old picture of him dressed as a Nazi at a fancy dress party resurfaced.

After the picture was published in The Sun, he said: “I am absolutely devastated if this caused offence to anyone, the picture was taken 14 years ago en route to a Comedy TV Shows Themed New Year’s Eve Party and a group of us dressed up as characters from the classic TV show ’Allo ’Allo!

“Everyone who knows me, knows I am incredibly proud of the efforts of those, including my own grandfather, who fought against the Nazis during the war.”

His apology was not well received by all, with former contestant Ruby Tandoh tweeting: “absolutely creasin at ppl telling me “IT WAS TEN YEARS AGO” as if the nazis weren’t bad back then. guys he was still a middle aged man when he did this lol. i don’t think he’s a nazi i just think he’s absurd [sic].”

Errant fridges land the show in hot water

Back in 2012, the show was accused of product placement to the prominence of Smeg-branded fridges in the Bake Off tent.<br /><br />When Bake Off guidelines were revised, Smeg were also forced to take down a notice on their website announcing their association with the show.
Back in 2012, the show was accused of product placement to the prominence of Smeg-branded fridges in the Bake Off tent.

When Bake Off guidelines were revised, Smeg were also forced to take down a notice on their website announcing their association with the show.

Innuendo

Yes, a few cheeky innuendos might seem like a part of Bake Off as integral as bomber jackets and self-raising flour, but viewers have argued over the years that it can often verge on indecent.<br /><br />Paul Hollywood said in 2014: "Our whole culture has always been based on it. Carry On films did it for 30 years and then there were cheeky beach picture postcards."
Yes, a few cheeky innuendos might seem like a part of Bake Off as integral as bomber jackets and self-raising flour, but viewers have argued over the years that it can often verge on indecent.

Paul Hollywood said in 2014: "Our whole culture has always been based on it. Carry On films did it for 30 years and then there were cheeky beach picture postcards."

Bake Off breaks its own rules

Bake Off fans are sticklers for the rules, as proved during the final technical challenge of the 2018 series. <br /><br />It saw the bakers leave the familiar surroundings of the iconic tent for the first time ever, as they were tasked with making six pitta breads over an open fire, as well as three dips to go with them. <br /><br />It required them to tend to the fire, which <a href="https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/great-british-bake-off-final-technical-challenge-fire_uk_5bd8c051e4b01abe6a18f6d9?utm_hp_ref=uk-paul-hollywood">many complained meant it technically wasn't a baking challenge</a>, and therefore went against the rules of the competition. 
Bake Off fans are sticklers for the rules, as proved during the final technical challenge of the 2018 series.

It saw the bakers leave the familiar surroundings of the iconic tent for the first time ever, as they were tasked with making six pitta breads over an open fire, as well as three dips to go with them.

It required them to tend to the fire, which many complained meant it technically wasn't a baking challenge , and therefore went against the rules of the competition.

Prue accidentally reveals the winner

Prue was at the centre of a media storm at the end of her first series when she prematurely revealed on Twitter that Sophie had won, hours before the final was due to air on TV. She later blamed getting confused with the time difference while on holiday in Bhutan. <br /><br />The gaffe has been regarded as one of the best / worst in TV history, and she has failed to live in down ever since, admitting she would be locking herself away on future finale nights.
Prue was at the centre of a media storm at the end of her first series when she prematurely revealed on Twitter that Sophie had won, hours before the final was due to air on TV. She later blamed getting confused with the time difference while on holiday in Bhutan.

The gaffe has been regarded as one of the best / worst in TV history, and she has failed to live in down ever since, admitting she would be locking herself away on future finale nights.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.