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All early Great British Bake-Off seasons are now streaming—free!

All early Great British Bake-Off seasons are now streaming—free!
Great British Bake-Off hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins during season 2's biscuit episode

The Roku Channel announced earlier in the summer that it’s reviving The Great American Baking Show, which aired five seasons on ABC. In August, it announced the show’s new hosts.

But after that, The Roku Channel quietly did something that I’m far more excited about: It started streaming The Great British Bake-Off’s early seasons, including two seasons that have never had available to in the United States.

The Roku Channel is a free, ad-supported streaming service, which is confusingly named but not to be confused with the streaming device. You can watch The Roku Channel if you have a Roku, but its app is also available on smart TVs and other devices—or you can just watch on the web.

While I’ve been grateful for the availability of GBBO in the U.S. since PBS first brought it to us, all of these shifting and expiring licenses have created a continually confusing situation.

But right now it’s actually simplified: All of the Channel 4 era seasons are on Netflix, including The Great British Bake-Off’s current season, while all of the earlier BBC seasons—the ones with Mary Berry, Mel, and Sue!—are on The Roku Channel.

Roku Channel’s gift of early Bake-Off

New Great American Baking Show hosts Ellie Kemper and Zach Cherry, with judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith
New Great American Baking Show hosts Ellie Kemper and Zach Cherry, with judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith (Photo by Roku Channel)

The new season of The Great American Baking Show will premiere in 2023, and be hosted by Ellie Kemper and Zach Cherry, while both Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood will judge. It’s also produced by Love Productions.

But right now, you can watch the original on The Roku Channel.

This means we can relive the seasons with hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, and original judge Mary Berry, who I desperately miss. Bake-Off is still good competition reality television, but is not the same without them.

Sometime in the last month—though I’m not exactly sure when, as I’ve only seen scattered social media references, the earliest of which was Sept. 2—the seasons were added. They weren’t on Roku Channel’s September list of new shows, though.

This seems similar to what Netflix did, adding seasons of The Mole before its own version of The Mole premieres, to get its viewers used to the show.

How to watch Bake-Off’s first seven seasons

Great British Bake-Off, Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry, Sue Perkins, Mel Giedroyc
Great British Bake-Off judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, and hosts Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc. (Photo by Mark Bourdillion/Love Productions)

The first seven seasons of GBBO are now on The Roku Channel to stream, free, and that includes the first two seasons.

They also have Celebrity Bake-Off and the after-show, An Extra Slice.

Links to each season are on my guide to all Great British Bake-Off seasons, which I’ve updated to reflect these recent changes.

Those first two seasons have never before been available in the U.S., as PBS skipped them when it first brought the show to the United States.

Season one is considerably different than all that followed, as the bakers and tent moved from place to place in each of its six episodes. The bread episode took place in Sarre Windmill, Kent, for example, while the pastry episode was in Mousehole, Cornwall.

The early seasons that came to the U.S. via PBS (although out of order) and were later on Netflix are now all on The Roku Channel.

To make this really exciting situation even better, The Roku Channel has not given those early seasons new names or numbers, as both PBS and Netflix did. So it’s now much easier to watch than ever before.

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About the author

  • 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.

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Happy discussing!

Antonio

Tuesday 4th of October 2022

Thanks for alerting me to this. Paul doesn't have a spray on tan. He looks like a regular person.

Chuck

Friday 30th of September 2022

It's funny... I am watching season one right now and wow... Paul and Mary are SO young! Plus, at times, it looks like it was filmed with someone's home video camera from the 80s!

Dora

Tuesday 27th of September 2022

They also have the celebrity versions and 'An extra slice' where they discussed episodes after they aired and show bloopers. This is AMAZING 🤩 I've missed Mel, Sue and Mary sooooo much!

Derek

Tuesday 27th of September 2022

Celebrity Bake Off and An Extra Slice are also on Roku now.