'Great British Bake Off' stars call for a return to realistic baking challenges

·Contributor
·3-min read
(Channel 4)
Some of the show's former contestants want real bakes back on the menu. (Channel 4)

Former Great British Bake Off stars have called for the show to bin outlandish challenges and get back to baking basics for the new series.

Edd Kimber, the show's first winner, and 2015 quarter-finalist Paul Jagger both said they hoped the Channel 4 series would stop tasking contestants with impossible edible structures in favour of "achievable" bakes that would encourage viewers to get into the kitchen.

Read more: Who are the Bake Off 2021 contestants?

Kimber, 36, said: “I would make one major change and that would be to take the show back to what it used to be. It was very much about home baking and it really inspired people to get into the kitchen and bake. That was such a special part of the show.

“Nobody at home wants to go and try and make a biscuit chandelier – it might be fun to watch but it doesn't inspire you to get into the kitchen. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 26: Edd Kimber attends the Woman's Own Big Chocolate Tea Party in aid of The Sick Children's Trust at May Fair Hotel on March 26, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
Edd Kimber was the first winner of The Great British Bake Off. (Mike Marsland/WireImage)

"It is a better test of baking skills if you can show how good you are at the basic skills and have the ability to take them to the next level.”

Jagger agreed: "I know Bake Off is a TV show and there has to be drama and spin, but I really think a challenge has to be achievable. Nobody wants to see 11 disasters. 

"I have to say I learned more in Bake Off than I had ever before – it is one thing to be able to bake but another to be able to do it under the pressure of being in that tent.”

EMBARGO 0001 HOURS TUESDAY 14 SEPTEMBER 2021..The Bakers.
This year's bakers are sure to face some tough challenges. (Channel 4)

Kimber and Jagger, who will appear at the Cake & Bake Show in London next month, also advised the new batch of contestants to concentrate on their baking skills rather than social media followers.

Bake Off may have made stars of contestants including Nadiya Hussain, Candice Brown and Liam Charles, but Kimber and Jagger told competitors not to think too hard about possible celebrity

Read more: All the winners of The Great British Bake Off and what they did next

Kimber said: “I would tell them to remember that you are there because you love baking – you are not there to become famous. I would say to enjoy yourself and enjoy the baking. 

"In the grand scheme of things you are only there to bake cakes and if you can bring the joy into the baking then you will do well.”

Candice Brown had a difficult night due to an asthma attack. (David M. Benett/Getty Images for PASSO)
Candice Brown went on to take part in Dancing On Ice after winning Bake Off. (David M Benett/Getty Images for PASSO)

Jagger added: “I think now the show seems to be a lot about becoming a TV celebrity rather than a baker, or about social media and the opportunities afterwards, when it should be about the art of baking.

“I would say to them don't take the focus off the baking – don't think about afterwards or getting further on TV, just be yourself.”

The Cake & Bake Show is at ExCel London from 1-3 October.

Watch: The Great British Bake Off teaser trailer

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