Great British Bake Off viewers saying same thing as Alison Hammond makes hosting debut

Alison Hammond on GBBO
Alison Hammond on GBBO (Channel 4)

The Great British Bake Off returned to our screens on Tuesday night, marking Alison Hammond's debut as co-host – and viewers have given their verdict on her new gig.

The This Morning star joined fellow presenter Noel Fielding and judges Paul Hollywood and Dame Prue Leith in the iconic white tent to welcome a fresh batch of hopeful bakers to the competition.

Viewers took to Twitter, now X, to share their thoughts on Alison's introduction to the popular Channel 4 programme – and it's safe to say the Birmingham-born star went down a storm with fans.

One person wrote: "Alison Hammond is the best best best thing to happen to GBBO since the move to channel four. I am so PLEASED. This series is off to a flying start. #GBBO2023," while another added: "Alison Hammond has really bought some sunshine and joy to the tent! Love her so much #GBBO."

Paul, Alison, Noel and Prue filming Bake Off 2023
Bake Off returned to our screens on Tuesday night (Instagram)

A third person commented: "So happy @BritishBakeOff is back and absolutely adore Alison Hammond," while another tweeted: "#GBBO was an absolute joy tonight. Alison Hammond looks as if she's been in the tent for years, and clearly loving it. A great bunch of bakers this year, should be a cracking series."

Prue Leith, Noel Fielding, Alison Hammond and Paul Hollywood on Bake Off
Alison Hammond made her Bake Off debut on Tuesday (Channel 4)

Alison took over from comedian Matt Lucas, who announced his departure from the show in December last year after three seasons.

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Matt, who joined the show in 2020, attributed his decision to his busy schedule. "But it's become clear to me that I can't present both Fantasy Football League and Bake Off alongside all my other projects," he said in a statement. "So, after three series and 51 episodes, I am cheerfully passing the baguette on to someone else."

Matt Lucas smiling for a photo with Noel Fielding, Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith on The Great British Bake Off set
Matt Lucas announced his exit in December last year (Mark Bourdillon / Channel 4 / Love Productions)

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So, what happened in episode one?

The series 14 premiere saw 12 new bakers enter the tent, including 27-year-old Tasha from Bristol, who is the show's first-ever deaf contestant.

Here's the full line-up:

  • Abbi, 27, who is a vegetable grower and delivery driver from Cumbria

  • Amos, a 43-year-old deli and grocery manager from North London

  • Cristy, 33, a mum and PA from East London

Cristy's bakes take inspiration from her own Israeli heritage and from her husband's Jamaican roots
Cristy is a 33-year-old mum and PA (Channel 4)
  • Dan, a 42-year-old civil engineering resource planner from Cheshire

  • Dana, 25, who is an Essex-based database administrator

  • Josh, 27, who is a post-doctoral research associate from Leicestershire

  • Keith, a 60-year-old chartered accountant from Hampshire

Keith from Bake Off
Keith is a chartered accountant from Hampshire (Channel 4)
  • Matty, 28, a PE and science teacher from Cambridgeshire

  • Nicky, a 52-year-old retired cabin crew and volunteer from the West Midlands

  • Rowan, a 21-year-old student from West Yorkshire

  • Saku, a 50-year-old intelligence analyst from Herefordshire

  • Tasha, 27, a participation officer from Bristol

  • Episode one saw the bakers faced with a series of tricky tasks, including making a vertical layer cake for the Signature challenge, and for the Technical, recreating the iconic Bake Off cake – the raspberry-topped gateau which is seen at the end of the show's opening credits.

Tasha from Bake Off
Tasha is the show's first deaf contestant (Channel 4)

As for the Showstopper, the contestants were asked to produce a cake shaped and decorated like an animal, with some of the designs including a tahini-flavoured Robin and a beaver named Norman.

For a full rundown of everything that happened in the opening episode, read our Bake Offweek one blog.