'The Great British Bake Off' 2021: When does it start? Who are the judges? Who are the bakers?

·Contributor
·4 min read
Get the kettle on, 'Bake Off' is back. (Channel 4)
Get the kettle on, 'Bake Off' is back. (Channel 4)

TV's tastiest contest is back on Channel 4 as The Great British Bake Off returns for a 12th season.

Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith are headed to the famous tent and ready to taste the incredible creations from this year's batch of bakers.

Read more: Bake Off fans excited by season 12 trailer launch

Here's all you need to know about the 2021 series, including when to tune in, who it will star and who the reigning champion is.

When does The Great British Bake Off start?

Bake Off is back for season 12 and is set to begin on Tuesday, 21 September at 8pm on Channel 4.

The contest will keep its regular Tuesday slot from 8pm to 9.30pm for 10 weeks, with the final scheduled for 23 September.

Who are the judges and presenters of The Great British Bake Off?

Ep6.  Paul and Prue.
Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith are the experts to impress. (Channel 4)

There are no big changes in the cast line-up this year, so we'll be welcoming back Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith as judges with Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas presenting again.

Hollywood has been with the show since it began in 2010, but Leith joined him in 2017 when Bake Off moved from the BBC to Channel 4 and original judge Mary Berry chose not to go with it.

Leith caused controversy in her first year on air when she accidentally revealed that the winner was Sophie Faldo hours before it aired after a misunderstanding over time differences during a trip away.

Read more: Prue Leith 'couldn't sleep for days' after Bake Off final gaffe

Comedian Lucas joined as host for the 2020 series, replacing Sandi Toksvig who had fronted Bake Off with Fielding since its move to Channel 4 when BBC hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins exited the show.

Lucas was on his own for the most recent celebrity series as Fielding was on paternity leave, but they'll be back together for the 2021 series launch.

Who are the bakers this series?

As usual, the bakers taking part are being kept under wraps until closer to the air date, but keep checking back for the line-up as it is announced.

Who won The Great British Bake Off 2020?

Ep6.  Peter.
Peter Sawkins is the reigning champion of the tent. (Channel 4)

The 2021 bakers will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Peter Sawkins, the contestant who was crowned the winner of the 2020 series.

Sawkins, a student from Edinburgh, was not only Bake Off's first-ever Scottish winner, he was also the youngest champion the show has ever seen at 20 years old.

After his win, he told how he had grown up with Bake Off and had begun watching the show as a child, which is what first got him interested in baking.

Read more: The greatest ever Bake Off controversies

Sawkins said: “I can’t quite believe that I’m here. I can’t quite believe that I made it on the show. I can’t quite believe the show happened."

He added: "I really am a Bake Off nerd.

“I think 12-year-old Peter would be in awe.”

Will Bake Off be back to normal this year?

Ep6.  Noel and Matt.
The bubble is back for Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas. (Channel 4)

We will be getting a full series of Bake Off this year, but just like in 2020, the contestants will have the added pressure of taking part while being in a COVID-safe bubble.

Presenter Lucas confirmed the bubble situation earlier in the year when he appeared on Lorraine.

He said: "Like last year we’re going into a bubble. All self-isolating and getting tested. And then we’re going into a COVID-free bubble, so we can all taste each other’s bakes and there can be handshakes and all sorts.”

Reigning champion Sawkins gave a flavour of what it's like to be in the Bake Off bubble while speaking after his win last year.

He said: “Lots of people at uni have travelled the world, done amazing things, I feel sometimes I haven't experienced as much.

“But there are 100 people locked in here, we are the only 100 people who have experienced this.”

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