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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 5, Series 8

Tuesday December 19 at 9:05am

Pudding Week

Prue and Paul are seeking perfection in pudding week, with a staggering technical challenge and a multi-layered showstopper that's not to be trifled with. 5/10

Episode 6, Series 8

Tuesday December 19 at 10:00am

Pastry Week

The bakers face a tough triple challenge with a savoury signature, a multi-layered technical, and an ambitious traditional pie that pushes them to the edge. 6/10

Episode 6, Series 8

Wednesday December 20 at 9:00am

Pastry Week

The bakers face a tough triple challenge with a savoury signature, a multi-layered technical, and an ambitious traditional pie that pushes them to the edge. 6/10

Episode 7, Series 8

Sunday December 24 at 11:25am

Italian Week

The bakers face a Sicilian signature, a deceptively tricky technical, and a fiddly showstopper in the hottest temperatures ever recorded in the tent. 7/10

Episode 8, Series 8

Sunday December 24 at 12:20pm

Forgotten Bakes

Our five bakers are stepping back in time and using unfamiliar recipes for Forgotten Bakes week. There's a sweet and savoury signature challenge and Prue sets a boozy technical. 8/10

Episode 7, Series 8

Sunday December 24 at 5:10pm

Italian Week

The bakers face a Sicilian signature, a deceptively tricky technical, and a fiddly showstopper in the hottest temperatures ever recorded in the tent. 7/10

Episode 8, Series 8

Sunday December 24 at 6:05pm

Forgotten Bakes

Our five bakers are stepping back in time and using unfamiliar recipes for Forgotten Bakes week. There's a sweet and savoury signature challenge and Prue sets a boozy technical. 8/10

Episode 7, Series 8

Tuesday December 26 at 9:05am

Italian Week

The bakers face a Sicilian signature, a deceptively tricky technical, and a fiddly showstopper in the hottest temperatures ever recorded in the tent. 7/10

Episode 8, Series 8

Tuesday December 26 at 10:00am

Forgotten Bakes

Our five bakers are stepping back in time and using unfamiliar recipes for Forgotten Bakes week. There's a sweet and savoury signature challenge and Prue sets a boozy technical. 8/10

Episode 8, Series 8

Wednesday December 27 at 9:00am

Forgotten Bakes

Our five bakers are stepping back in time and using unfamiliar recipes for Forgotten Bakes week. There's a sweet and savoury signature challenge and Prue sets a boozy technical. 8/10

Episode 9, Series 8

Sunday December 31 at 11:25am

Pâtisserie (Semi-Final)

It's the semi-final and the last four bakers are three patisserie challenges away from the biggest day in their baking lives. But first up, there's no business like choux business.…

Episode 10, Series 8

Sunday December 31 at 12:20pm

Final

Twelve bakers started, just three remain. Who will succeed with the demanding final challenges, including a high-end patisserie showstopper, to be crowned winner of The Great British…

Episode 9, Series 8

Sunday December 31 at 5:10pm

Pâtisserie (Semi-Final)

It's the semi-final and the last four bakers are three patisserie challenges away from the biggest day in their baking lives. But first up, there's no business like choux business.…

Episode 10, Series 8

Sunday December 31 at 6:05pm

Final

Twelve bakers started, just three remain. Who will succeed with the demanding final challenges, including a high-end patisserie showstopper, to be crowned winner of The Great British…

Episode 1, Series 8

Monday January 1 at 8:20pm

Cake Week

Cake Week sees the bakers take on a fruity challenge. Prue sets her first technical - a kids' party favourite. Plus, the trickiest showstopper ever is set in the first week: an illusion…

Episode 1, Series 8

Tuesday January 2 at 2:25am

Cake Week

Cake Week sees the bakers take on a fruity challenge. Prue sets her first technical - a kids' party favourite. Plus, the trickiest showstopper ever is set in the first week: an illusion…

Episode 9, Series 8

Tuesday January 2 at 9:10am

Pâtisserie (Semi-Final)

It's the semi-final and the last four bakers are three patisserie challenges away from the biggest day in their baking lives. But first up, there's no business like choux business.…

Episode 10, Series 8

Tuesday January 2 at 10:05am

Final

Twelve bakers started, just three remain. Who will succeed with the demanding final challenges, including a high-end patisserie showstopper, to be crowned winner of The Great British…

Episode 1, Series 8

Tuesday January 2 at 1:55pm

Cake Week

Cake Week sees the bakers take on a fruity challenge. Prue sets her first technical - a kids' party favourite. Plus, the trickiest showstopper ever is set in the first week: an illusion…

Episode 1, Series 8

Tuesday January 2 at 5:10pm

Cake Week

Cake Week sees the bakers take on a fruity challenge. Prue sets her first technical - a kids' party favourite. Plus, the trickiest showstopper ever is set in the first week: an illusion…

Episode 2, Series 8

Tuesday January 2 at 8:20pm

Biscuit Week

For biscuit week, Paul and Prue set the remaining 11 bakers three new challenges, including a tricky filling and a final showstopper that is literally game-changing. 2/10

Episode 2, Series 8

Wednesday January 3 at 2:25am

Biscuit Week

For biscuit week, Paul and Prue set the remaining 11 bakers three new challenges, including a tricky filling and a final showstopper that is literally game-changing. 2/10

Episode 10, Series 8

Wednesday January 3 at 8:35am

Final

Twelve bakers started, just three remain. Who will succeed with the demanding final challenges, including a high-end patisserie showstopper, to be crowned winner of The Great British…

Episode 1, Series 8

Wednesday January 3 at 10:55am

Cake Week

Cake Week sees the bakers take on a fruity challenge. Prue sets her first technical - a kids' party favourite. Plus, the trickiest showstopper ever is set in the first week: an illusion…

Episode 2, Series 8

Wednesday January 3 at 11:50am

Biscuit Week

For biscuit week, Paul and Prue set the remaining 11 bakers three new challenges, including a tricky filling and a final showstopper that is literally game-changing. 2/10

Episode 2, Series 8

Wednesday January 3 at 1:55pm

Biscuit Week

For biscuit week, Paul and Prue set the remaining 11 bakers three new challenges, including a tricky filling and a final showstopper that is literally game-changing. 2/10

Episode 2, Series 8

Wednesday January 3 at 5:10pm

Biscuit Week

For biscuit week, Paul and Prue set the remaining 11 bakers three new challenges, including a tricky filling and a final showstopper that is literally game-changing. 2/10

Episode 3, Series 8

Wednesday January 3 at 8:20pm

Bread Week

Paul and Prue set three tough challenges for the remaining 10 bakers in bread week, including an ambitious sculpture showstopper. 3/10

Episode 3, Series 8

Thursday January 4 at 2:25am

Bread Week

Paul and Prue set three tough challenges for the remaining 10 bakers in bread week, including an ambitious sculpture showstopper. 3/10

Episode 3, Series 8

Thursday January 4 at 10:50am

Bread Week

Paul and Prue set three tough challenges for the remaining 10 bakers in bread week, including an ambitious sculpture showstopper. 3/10

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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.