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The Road to the Great British Baking Show: What It Takes to Become a Contestant

The journey to becoming a Great British Baking Show contestant

Known for its mouth-watering creations and friendly competition, The Great British Bake Off has captured the hearts of millions of viewers around the world. With its immense popularity, it’s no wonder that aspiring bakers are eager to be a part of this culinary phenomenon. However, the road to becoming a Great British Baking Show contestant is not an easy one. Let’s take a look at the rigorous and exciting journey that aspiring bakers must take to earn their place on the show.

The application process

The first step in becoming a Great British Baking Show contestant is the application process. Each year, around 12,000 hopeful bakers submit their applications in the hope of securing a coveted place among the select few. The process begins with a detailed online questionnaire that delves into the applicants’ baking strengths and weaknesses, their experience with bread, and more. This multi-page form is known to be one of the most comprehensive application forms in the history of reality television.

Testing technical know-how

If candidates make it past the initial questionnaire, they face the next challenge: a phone interview. This interview is not the typical conversation about favorite recipes; it delves into the technical aspects of baking. Applicants may be asked about the proper temperature to bake a particular dessert or other intricate details that showcase their knowledge and skills.

Whipping Up Delights

After successfully completing the questionnaire and interview, prospective contestants are given the opportunity to demonstrate their baking skills. However, this step takes place off-camera. Aspiring bakers must whip up both sweet and savory treats for the Bake Off team, including a food technician who carefully judges their creations. These off-camera tests serve as a crucial evaluation of their baking skills.

Lights, Camera, Bake!

Once the initial tests are completed, the remaining candidates move on to the screen test. This is where baking skills meet the challenges of performing in front of the cameras. The contestants must bake while the cameras capture their every move, with occasional questions and interactions to recreate the atmosphere of the show. This stage tests not only their baking skills, but also their ability to handle the pressure and attention that comes with being in the spotlight.

Paving the way to the tent

After going through the rigorous application process, off-camera tests and screen test, the pool of applicants is narrowed down to about 30 or 40 contestants. However, there is one final step before securing a coveted spot in the Bake Off tent. Each remaining contestant meets with a psychologist to ensure they are mentally prepared to handle the unique stresses of the reality television environment.

Additional considerations

While talent and passion are essential, there are a few additional factors that budding bakers need to consider when applying to be a Great British Baking Show contestant. Firstly, applicants must be available for all filming days scheduled for the show. This commitment ensures that contestants can fully immerse themselves in the challenges and competitions without any conflicts. Secondly, the show is specifically looking for amateur bakers, which means that people with previous experience as full-time bakers, chefs, or those with culinary qualifications or training are not eligible.
Becoming a Great British Baking Show contestant is a dream come true for many passionate bakers. The journey to the tent is filled with hurdles, from the extensive application process to the technical tests and screen test. It’s a testament to the dedication and skill required to compete on one of the most popular cooking shows in the world. So if you want to showcase your baking talents and join the ranks of the Great British Baking Show contestants, prepare for an exciting and challenging adventure that could change your life forever.


How many people apply to be a contestant on the Great British Baking Show?

Around 12,000 hopeful bakers apply each year for the chance to compete on the show.

What is the application process?

The application process begins with a comprehensive online questionnaire, followed by a telephone interview to test the applicant’s technical knowledge.

Are the off-camera tests important?

Yes, the off-camera tests play a crucial role in evaluating the baking skills and abilities of the potential contestants.

What happens during the screen test?

The screen test requires contestants to bake while being filmed, simulating the pressure and environment of the actual show.

How many contestants make it through to the Great British Baking Show?

From thousands of applicants, only around 30 or 40 are selected to compete in the Bake Off tent.

Can professional bakers enter the show?

No, the show is specifically looking for amateur bakers and people with previous experience as full-time bakers, cooks, chefs or culinary qualifications are not eligible to enter.

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