Have you ever wondered what actually goes on inside the Great British Bake Off tent? Now you don't have to, after 2013 winner Frances Quinn revealed all the secrets from on set.
1. 'You film for up to 13 hours a day'
"You haven't really got a life other than Bake Off. No social life. That was the most stressful time. We had to get a train down on the Friday and we'd have a wake up call at 5am, we'd be in the tent at 7am. We'd wrap filming at about 8pm and then it would be the same again the next day. I'd get back at about midnight on the Sunday. It's not just a 2 hour bake with a few buttercups."
2. 'Contestants are interviewed eight times a day'
"They just have to get so much footage for an hour show. You're being interviewed about eight times a day, just so they've got every type of answer and every type of question has been asked. They don't want to miss a thing."
3. 'They have a camera on everyone most of the time'
"Particularly near the end, [they have cameras on everyone]. Obviously at the beginning, there's more of us than [cameramen], but they want a camera on you every time you're going in the oven, looking in the oven, bringing something out of the oven. The thing is to not express when something goes wrong - that's when the camera will be on you. You just have to not let them know."
4. 'The contestants all stay in a hotel together on Saturday night'
"The year we did it, we were staying in a hotel and we'd get the baker's minibus out to the tent which was about half an hour away.You'd think it was fun, but it's actually all quite stressful. It was like going towards an exam, and then on the way back, some people had done really well in the exam and some people hadn't done so well and it was the next day when you know someone is going home. It was tricky trying to deal with everyone's different emotions."
5. 'If you bring your own equipment, it has to be checked'
"You still have to have their stuff, any stuff you bring in has to be checked to make sure... I used to take my own set of digital scales, and I remember when they ran out of batteries so I was like, 'Nooo'. Sometimes you'd even bring your own ingredients down because... Even bananas, if you need the really ripe ones if you're making a bannoffee pie and the ones they got in from the online order were green. You have to take it to the next level."
6. 'The temperature of the tent can be the difference between succeeding and failing'
"It's completely alien to your own kitchen at home. One, you're in a tent. Two, I bake in my own little space with the radio on, and then you're there and you've got six camera men, the floor's a bit like a bouncy castle because obviously it's in a tent. The temperature fluctuates - you'd be making a meringue and it would start raining, or we'd try and make pastry and it would be 27 degrees outside. The technical challenges and lack of time and lack of fridge and work space are the enemy on that show."
7. 'Trial run ingredients aren't paid for'
"You got a little bit of expenses paid for, but it's still expensive. It's funny the amount of ingredients I used to have in my kitchen. People would come in and I'd just got used to seeing that amount of butter and using so many eggs. Me and my fridge needed a detox after the show."
8. 'Bakers really do have to wear their clothes two days running'
"Luckily they change the aprons so we don't look like a Jackson Pollock painting by the end of it. I think layers [is the answer], but even then you still have to wear what you had on, on top. Difficult. And everyone was always like 'Did you buy two of everything?' and I was like 'No, you're spending so much money on butter and eggs...'"
9. 'Sometimes GBBO is filmed midweek, but usually it's the weekends'
"It's every weekend. So it was 10 weekends, but some weeks we'd do a Wednesday and a Thursday, so that would be a real short week of practising. You'd get back late on the Sunday, and then we'd literally be back down there on the Tuesday night. So not a lot of time. So it's a real commitment. You're up early and back late."
10. 'When I was on the show, Mary and Paul didn't interact with the bakers much'
"Not during the show. They very much tried to keep it unbiased. We saw a lot more of Mel and Sue. Mary and Paul would purely come in to do what we called the royal tour - where they'd come in and find out what you were making, and then they'd come back in for judging. You're not in the same hotel having sleepovers! You form more of a relationship after the show when you see them at things like BBC Good Food or whatever - but they need to keep their distance [on the show]. They're there as judges."
11. 'Mary and Paul would watch boxsets with Mel and Sue whilst contestants baked, but it might be different this year'
"I love Mel and Sue. They're in the tent a lot more, but there's still not there the whole time. I saw the four of them watching Mad Men and stuff when we were having mad episodes of baking! They'd be watching boxsets.
"I always said that Mel was amazing at helping you clean your work surface down. You used to have to put out Sue friendly bowls because she would just go around eating stuff off your work bench and you'd have to be like 'no Sue, I need that'. They're genuinely as lovely as they come across. You just wanted to have more banter with them but you have to concentrate on your caramel not burning."
12. 'Contestants don't watch any footage back until 4 months later'
"It's interesting for us because we don't get to see how the episode is edited. We'll be watching it when everyone else is, going 'Ahhh so that's what was happening over on their counter'. When it was the final, I saw [footage] of Mel and Sue and Mary eating asparagus off my work bench and I was like 'I had no idea they were doing that!' I just had my back to them over in the corner."
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