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About the show

The ultimate baking contest

An entertaining and exciting search to find and crown Britain's best amateur baker.

Renowned food writer Mary Berry and professional baker Paul Hollywood set 12 passionate bakers a series of challenges in different disciplines, designed to test every aspect of their skills and showcase the exacting science behind the art of baking.

Taking on some of the most terrifying tasks of the kitchen, the contestants go all out to impress the judges as they battle for a place in the final and the chance to become The Great British Bake Off winner.

Who will sink like a second-rate soufflé? And who will deliver enough mouth-watering bites to be crowned the next Bake Off champion?

They'll be tears, they'll be tension, and there may even be a soggy bottom or two.

On your marks… get set… bake!

Judges and host

GBBO - S4

Mary Berry

With 60 years cooking experience, Mary Berry is considered to be the doyenne of baking.

Mary learned the art of baking from her mother before training at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu in Paris at the age of just 17.

She quickly established herself as a leading cookery writer and broadcaster, and has published over 70 cookbooks throughout her career.

Her contribution to the culinary arts was recognised by the Queen in 2012 when she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2012 Birthday Honours.

Mary’s personal favourite cake to make is a ginger treacle tray bake. However, most people tell her that they enjoy baking her lemon drizzle cake and her tarte au citron.

In addition to her baking expertise, Mary has also garnered a reputation for providing practical recipes containing lots of fresh ingredients for the family.

GBBO - S4

Paul Hollywood

Paul Hollywood is one of the UK’s leading artisan bakers.

The son of a baker, Paul originally trained as a sculptor until his father persuaded him to change careers. By combining his love of sculpting and baking, Paul established himself as an innovator.

Paul is a master baker and has worked in some of the most exclusive hotels in the world, including the Dorchester in London.

He cemented his reputation as the leading authority on bread making by publishing the bestselling book 100 Great Breads, which has been translated into seven languages.

In 2008 he created the most expensive bread in Britain – an almond and Roquefort sourdough that was sold for £15 a loaf at Harrods. Paul describes it as the "Rolls Royce of loaves"!

In his first solo series, Bread, Paul revealed the secrets to making breads from all over the world, showing how a simple loaf can be transformed into delicious dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Paul has also appeared as a judge on The American Baking Competition on the CBS network.

GBBO - S4

Mel Giedroyc

Writer and performer Mel Giedroyc started her career as half of the hugely successful double act, Mel and Sue.

Mel and Sue were shortlisted for the Best Newcomers Award at the Edinburgh Festival and went on to write material for French and Saunders before hosting their own show.

When the duo separated to work on individual projects, Mel worked on a range of programmes, including co-presenting a daytime chat show and guest appearing in BBC sitcom, The Vicar of Dibley.

Mel has appeared in three series of the twice BAFTA-nominated cult sketch show, Sorry I've Got No Head, as well as the West End musical Eurobeat, and the popular teen drama, Sadie J.

Mel also presents The 4 o’clock Show daily on Radio 4 Extra and is branching out into writing for theatre.

GBBO - S4

Sue Perkins

Writer, presenter and broadcaster, the hugely talented Sue Perkins has been a firm favourite on British television for nearly 15 years.

Together with her presenting partner, Mel Giedroyc, they entertained the nation with their unique brand of wit on the popular comedy show, Light Lunch.

Sue has worked on a wide range of solo projects, including documentaries on art, popular fiction and history.

In 2008 she appeared on the BBC show Maestro. She won and went on to conduct at The Last Night of the Proms in Hyde Park. Her passion for conducting has continued and in 2011 she conducted the BBC Concert Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall in 2011.

Sue has also collaborated with the food critic, Giles Coren, on The Supersizers series, experiencing food from a variety of historical periods, including sow's udder pate, bovine bread and butter pudding, duck tongues and several thousand bottles of wine.

She appears regularly on Radio 4 shows Just a Minute and The News Quiz, and in 2013 she released her self-penned sitcom, Heading Out, which she not only wrote but composed the music for and took the lead role.

Next on...

Episode 4, Series 5

Friday July 21 at 6:05pm

Desserts

As week four begins, the bakers must multitask across several baking skills at once. 4/10

Episode 5, Series 5

Monday July 24 at 6:05pm

Pies and Tarts

Almost halfway through the Bake Off and the remaining bakers are facing pies and tarts. 5/10

Episode 6, Series 5

Tuesday July 25 at 6:05pm

European Cakes

The remaining six bakers face three European cakes, including a two-tiered dobos torte. 6/10

Episode 7, Series 5

Wednesday July 26 at 6:05pm

Pastry

Week seven sees the bakers tested on all kinds of weird and wonderful pastries. 7/10

Episode 8, Series 5

Thursday July 27 at 6:05pm

Advanced Dough

The five remaining bakers face an even tougher second dough week. 8/10

Episode 9, Series 5

Friday July 28 at 6:05pm

Semi-final - Patisserie

The remaining bakers make baklava, schichttorte and two elegant entremets. 9/10

Episode 1, Series 7

Sunday July 30 at 1:25am

Cake Week

The competition begins with cake week, where the group are faced with Mary's technical challenge - a popular little cake with a fatless sponge and tricky chocolate work. 1/10

Episode 2, Series 7

Sunday July 30 at 2:20am

Biscuit Week

In week two it is crunch time - as Paul and Mary set the bakers three biscuit challenges - but who will snap under the pressure of creating 24 identical decorated biscuits ? 2/10

Episode 3, Series 7

Sunday July 30 at 3:15am

Bread Week

Paul Hollywood has put together three of the toughest bread challenges ever - a sweet dough with a twist, a steamy technical challenge, and a mighty final showstopper challenge. 3/10

Episode 4, Series 7

Sunday July 30 at 4:10am

Batter Week

It's the first-ever Batter Week! Mary and Paul are judging on a British favourite, steady hands in the technical challenge and a showstopper where ovens are out and fryers are in. 4/10

Episode 5, Series 7

Sunday July 30 at 5:05am

Pastry Week

The eight remaining bakers work with pastry to create a very Danish breakfast, a classic British tart and a bite-size showstopper which is difficult to make but trickier to bake! 5/10

Episode 6, Series 7

Monday July 31 at 1:25am

Botanical Week

The first-ever GBBO Botanical Week involves a signature challenge with a twist, a leafy technical challenge from Paul, and three tiers of elaborately decorated showstopper cake. 6/10

Episode 7, Series 7

Monday July 31 at 2:20am

Dessert Week

It's Dessert Week! The bakers face a very sweet signature challenge, a tricky French dessert for the technical challenge, and a multi-bake mousse marathon of a mini-showstopper. 7/10

Episode 8, Series 7

Monday July 31 at 3:15am

Tudor Week

Bake Off presents its first Tudor Week! The signature is a Tudor classic, the technical challenge is a knotty biscuit, and the final challenge should spoil a wealthy Tudor banquet.…

Episode 9, Series 7

Monday July 31 at 4:10am

Patisserie Week

The semi-final sees the bakers tackling three patisserie-based challenges, including a French pastry, a yeast-based cake and a multiple mini-cake showstopper. 9/10

Episode 10, Series 7

Monday July 31 at 5:05am

The Final

The three finalists face a showstopper which is the most complex ever seen on Bake Off and which has the most bakes ever requested in a challenge. Who will be crowned champion? 10/10

Episode 10, Series 5

Monday July 31 at 6:05pm

The Final

The final has arrived and just three challenges lie between the bakers and the trophy. 10/10

Episode 1, Series 6

Wednesday August 9 at 6:05pm

Cake

The bakers' face cake challenges including madeira, frosted walnut and black forest gateau. 1/10

Episode 2, Series 6

Thursday August 10 at 6:05pm

Biscuits

The 11 remaining bakers must prove themselves with biscuits from biscotti to arlettes. 2/10

Episode 3, Series 6

Friday August 11 at 6:05pm

Bread

The ten remaining bakers face quick breads, baguettes and bread sculptures. 3/10

Episode 4, Series 6

Monday August 14 at 6:05pm

Desserts

For the nine bakers left, it's time to tackle the sweet ending to every meal - desserts. 4/10

Episode 5, Series 6

Tuesday August 15 at 6:05pm

Alternative Ingredients

The bakers must bake without sugar, gluten or dairy - but thankfully not all at once. 5/10

Episode 6, Series 6

Wednesday August 16 at 6:05pm

Pastry

The bakers prove their pastry skills, making frangipane tarts, flaounes and vol-au-vents. 6/10

Episode 7, Series 6

Thursday August 17 at 6:05pm

Victorian

An episode dedicated to the Victorian Era, which gave birth to modern baking as we know it. 7/10

Episode 8, Series 6

Friday August 18 at 6:05pm

Patisserie

The bakers work their way through childhood favourites including French fancies and more. 8/10

Episode 9, Series 6

Monday August 21 at 6:05pm

Chocolate (Semi-Final)

The remaining bakers must get to grips with a difficult baking ingredient - chocolate. 9/10

Episode 10, Series 6

Tuesday August 22 at 6:05pm

Final

The three finalists face their last three challenges, including a classic British cake. 10/10

Episode 1, Series 7

Thursday August 24 at 6:05pm

Cake Week

The competition begins with cake week, where the group are faced with Mary's technical challenge - a popular little cake with a fatless sponge and tricky chocolate work. 1/10

Episode 2, Series 7

Friday August 25 at 6:05pm

Biscuit Week

In week two it is crunch time - as Paul and Mary set the bakers three biscuit challenges - but who will snap under the pressure of creating 24 identical decorated biscuits ? 2/10

Episode 1, Series 5

Sunday August 27 at 1:40am

Cake

The baking challenge is back, welcoming the tent's youngest-ever baker and the oldest. 1/10

BBC Lifestyle

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Bakers

The Great British Bake Off S6

Alvin

Alvin is originally from the Philippines and works as a nurse in Berkshire.

Alvin lives with his wife and their two children. He’s constantly jotting down everything from recipes to techniques so he can pass all his knowledge onto them both as they grow up.

A true perfectionist, Alvin once baked bread every day for three weeks until he believed he’d got it right.

The Great British Bake Off S6

Dorret

Originally from the West Indies, Dorret grew up in Preston and works as an accountant.

A self-confessed foodie, Dorret has been baking for 40 years and enjoys tap dancing, ballet and salsa to counteract the calories she consumes.

Dorret and her husband regularly visit Michelin-starred restaurants for inspiration and ideas for their next culinary experiment. They also enjoy hosting dinner parties to impress their friends with their skills. Dorret’s dream is to go to the Cordon Bleu school in Paris.

The Great British Bake Off S6

Flora

Flora is an assistant at a contemporary art gallery while she waits to start her history of art degree.

She lives at home with her parents and two younger sisters in the Scottish countryside, 20 minutes from the nearest shop. Because of the distance, Flora always makes sure the larder and freezer is regularly stocked with ingredients so she can bake cakes and loaves for the rest of her family.

The Great British Bake Off S6

Ian

Ian is a travel photographer and has the honour of being the Dalai Lama’s personal snapper when he visits the UK.

In recent years Ian’s become more of a house husband and while his wife heads to work, he often spends his days making giant catapults and zip wires for his children to play with. He started baking six years ago because he wanted them to have fresh bread every day.

The Great British Bake Off S6

Marie

Marie's children claim at one point their mum couldn’t even boil an egg – so she's come a long way.

The turning point came in her thirties when Marie moved to Paris with her family and was inspired by all the French patisseries. She fell in love with baking, specialising in elaborate, showstopping decorations. But Marie also likes simple baking too and makes bread so her grandchildren can have “proper packed lunches”.

The Great British Bake Off S6

Mat

Londoner Mat began baking three years ago in between shifts as a firefighter.

Mat has now mastered not only simple cakes and biscuits but bread, pastries and pies. Preferring sweet over savoury baking, Mat calls himself a “competent amateur” who “learns every time he bakes”.

Mat lives with his wife and says his greatest ambition is to own a dishwasher.

The Great British Bake Off S6

Nadiya

Nadiya lives in Leeds with her husband and is a full-time mum to their three children.

After wondering why her father only served ice cream for dessert at his restaurant, as desserts aren’t a big feature of mealtimes in Bangladesh, Nadiya was encouraged by a school home economics teacher to develop her skills and now delivers beautiful masterpieces at family occasions.

The Great British Bake Off S6

Paul

Paul lives in Wales and has been a prison governor for eight years.

He sees being in The Great British Bake Off as “an opportunity to show that men like me, stereotyped by our jobs, do and can love baking and that it is a skill and talent to be proud of.”

He may have a demanding authoritative job, but Paul enjoys learning intricate skills like sugar-work to make his bakes beautiful. When not baking, Paul loves the outdoors and exploring the Welsh countryside with his wife and three sons.

The Great British Bake Off S6

Sandy

Sandy says that she bakes to show her family, friends and colleagues that she cares about them.

She started baking as a child and likens her style to the way she’d describe herself: “it might not be glamorous but it’s tasty.”

In her job she helps young people with emotional issues. After work Sandy also volunteers at the school, running a cookery club where she teaches children from deprived backgrounds to bake on a budget.

The Great British Bake Off S6

Stu

Stu’s a professional musician and lives in Surrey with his wife and two children.

He has been baking from a young age; he used to watch his parents in the restaurant kitchen they owned and was always amazed by the magic of the oven and “how something liquid could go in and out would come this fluffed up awesomeness.”

He is confident with most genres of baking and is fascinated by the science of it all. He enjoys trialling different flavour combinations, especially Middle Eastern spices.

The Great British Bake Off S6

Tamal

Tamal is a trainee anaesthetist working at a hospital in Manchester.

He grew up in Hertfordshire where his parents moved to from India in the 1960s. His older sister played a big part in bringing him up and taught him to bake. She gave Tamal the ultimate compliment when he was asked to bake her wedding cake.

Since then, he is regularly asked to bake family and friends' wedding cakes too – the largest one was five tiers.

The Great British Bake Off S6

Ugne

While baking is her main hobby, Ugne is also a bodybuilder.

Originally from Lithuania, Ugne now lives in Essex with her partner, also a bodybuilder, and their two young children and works as a PA and administrator.

Ugne learnt to bake from her mother and grandmother who used Eastern European baking methods and utensils. She loves English baking and each day makes her family bread, pies and pastries, but also likes to incorporate traditional Lithuanian flavours into her bakes to remind her of home.