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How the Great British Baking Show season 11 filmed, and when Netflix will air it

The Great British Bake-Off is returning to TV next week, having completed production in a very different way than usual, and it will also return to Netflix for those in the United States.

Netflix announced that new episodes of The Great British Baking Show season 11 will be available Fridays starting Sept. 25, three days after their Tuesday premiere on Channel 4 in the UK.

The new season will feature host Matt Lucas alongside Noel Fielding. After three seasons, Sandi Toksvig left the show. Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith returned as judges.

This is season 11 of The Great British Bake-Off, but Channel 4 is referring to it as series four, and Netflix is calling it The Great British Baking Show collection 7.

I’ve updated my guide to Great British Baking Show season numbering and availability, which hopefully helps make all of this a little less confusing.

How the Great British Bake-Off season 11 was filmed

The Great British Baking Show season 11 (Netflix collection 7) contestants in the tent.
The Great British Baking Show season 11 (Netflix collection 7) contestants in the tent. (Photo by Love Productions/Channel 4)

Channel 4’s preview for the new season focuses mostly on things going wrong with the bakes being conducted in the tent, but there’s absolutely zero indication that anything is different than normal, even though the season filmed in July and August.

A detailed report in Broadcast explains how the production managed to film mid-pandemᎥc.

First, the show moved to a new location, where the tent could be placed on the grounds of a hotel that housed both the cast and crew—and even family members.

The Great British Baking Show’s new location is Down Hall in Essex, and Broadcast reports that the hotel “supplied 20 hotel staff who entered the bubble alongside 80 Love staff and around 20 ‘children, chaperones and dogwalkers’.”

Before they began their stay, cast and crew isolated for nine days, and were tested three times.

Great British Baking Show judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith during season 10
Great British Baking Show judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith during season 10 (Photo by Channel 4)

Typically, the Great British Bake-Off films on weekends, with the signature and technical bake on Saturday, and the showstopper filmed on Sunday.

But this year, the British version adopted the schedule that the American version—which airs on ABC and is also produced by Love Productions—uses: they filmed non-stop for six weeks, filming for two days and then taking a break for two days. (For more, read: How the ABC version of The Great British Baking Show is produced.)

The GBBO contestants were still able to practice, though they just had less time. “It was a massive operation, we even built 12 practice kitchens for the bakers to use on their days off,” Love Productions’ Kieran Smith told Broadcast.

Love Productions’ Richard McKerrow told Broadcast, “With everything everyone’s gone through this year, we thought it was vital to deliver the show.”

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.

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