The Great British Bake Off is filming its eighth season, and its first without judge Mary Berry and hosts Mel and Sue, who were replaced with a new judge and host duo. (The seventh season of GBBO is currently airing in the U.S. on PBS as The Great British Baking Show.)
Though that is a significant change, Channel 4 and the show’s producers, Love Productions, have reportedly decided to not make any other major changes to the baking competition. The show’s location, theme song, and format are all remaining the same, according to The Sun, which said the same producers are returning, too.
That may make the new version more like ABC’s Great American Baking Show, which stars Mary Berry but has a different co-host and judges (oh: and American contestants).
A promo shot of the new GBBO cast was released in May, and Welford Park, where the show is filmed, is closed until the end of July.
In an interview with the UK’s Press Association, former host Mel Giedroyc said she misses the crew, who have returned to film season eight.
She said the show is currently filming when discussing her decision to quit once the show moved to Channel 4: Mel said it took her “three seconds” to decide to quit, and said, “I think there was no question where we were heading but I miss the gang… we were like a big family. All the camera guys, the sound guys, home economists behind the scenes, so knowing a lot of them are there filming as we speak, it feels kind of strange.”
Mel was gracious toward her replacements: “Sue and I were beginning to run out of puns so it’s good to get someone in… I’ll be fascinated to see what the new version is like.”
Specifically, she said that new co-host Fielding will “bring a bit of left-field into proceedings, bring a bit of edge, a bit of crazy, goth whimsy into the mix. He’s great. If he’s allowed to do his thing it’ll be brilliant.”
In the interview, Mel also said that “99% of the footage” that was filmed didn’t make TV because it consisted of “utter filth” and “endless teasing,” which was directed toward the only remaining judge: “I mean relentless, almost bullying at work of Paul.”