Great British Bake Off 2018: When does it start? Who are the presenters and judges? Who are the contestants? All you need to know

Aprons at the ready – TV’s greatest cake showdown is back for a second series on Channel 4.

Bake Off: The Professionals has the wow factor and Celebrity Bake Off has the laughs, but we all know that our hearts really lie with the original and best Great British Bake Off.

Our appetites have been whetted by the spin-off series and now we’re licking our lips in anticipation of the main event.

[Read more: Richard Burr's top pastry tips]

Find out all you need to know about The Great British Bake Off 2018 right here.

The first trailer revealed

 

Channel 4 has brought back a winning formula for its Great British Bake Off trailer – singing cakes.

The teaser for the new series features an assortment of far-from-perfect home-made creations appearing to belt out the words to the Christina Aguilera hit Beautiful. Sad-looking cupcakes and teacakes, complete with faces, perform the song about self-esteem and inner beauty.

A chocolate hedgehog cake pleads "Don’t look at me" and a burnt bake is thrown in the bin.

The trailer begins with the message "Bake Off’s back" and ends with the judges and presenters crowding round a three-tiered cake topped with fruit.

Last year’s quirky video featured an assortment of pastries singing Paul McCartney and the Frog Chorus’s We All Stand Together.

Channel 4 paid a reported £75 million for three years of the hit show, which scored 15 million viewers on the BBC.

The final of last year’s Bake Off was watched by one of the biggest audiences in Channel 4’s 35-year history.

The October final, which saw Sophie Faldo crowned the winner, pulled in 10 million viewers.

When is The Great British Bake Off back on TV?

No exact air date has yet been released, but we know that series nine will see the contest return to Channel 4, where it made its debut with series eight in 2017.

Going on the same schedules as 2017, we’d expect to see the new series launch towards the end of August with the final falling around the end of October.

[Read more: All you need to know about Britain's Best Home Cook]

Back to Basics

Paul Hollywood has revealed that the show's producers took note of the criticism that the latest series of Bake Off had grown too complex with challenges that were moving away from the show's home-baking origins.

"This year we have gone back to basics on a couple, because we were getting a bit over-complicated," he told The Guardian.

"Sometimes it's not just about the bakers in the tent, it's about the people in the UK who watch the programme.

"We want to encourage the viewers to bake. And it's worked, thus far. Everyone's got the baking bug, at some level."

Who is presenting and judging the show for 2018?

This is where we do have some certainty, as the presenters and judges have all committed to another series for 2018.

Before series eight had even ended, the four stars of the revamped show had all signed up for another run.

That means we’ll be seeing Paul Hollywood back in the tent as the only person to have appeared in every series so far. He’ll be joined by his judging partner Prue Leith who replaced Mary Berry when the programme left the BBC.

Comedians Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding were a hit with viewers as the presenters, despite having to follow a tough act in Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, so it’s great news that Sandi and Noel will be returning, too.

[Read more: Strictly Come Dancing 2018 line-up rumours]

Who are the 2018 Bake Off contestants?

Right now, it’s anyone’s guess as to who will be stepping into the Bake Off tent this year.

Applications opened at the end of series eight – perhaps you’re keeping a secret from family and friends as one of the chosen few? Or maybe your colleague has been bringing much fancier home bakes into work than usual?

Whoever has made the final cut, one thing’s for sure. They’re going to be super-talented bakers as last year’s batch were the best we’ve ever seen, so the standard is definitely going up and up.

Who won The Great British Bake Off 2017?

Cast your mind back to series eight and you’ll remember that the bakers came up with the most showstoppingly amazing creations we’ve seen yet on the show.

The winner was unflappable stuntwoman Sophie Faldo, who barely put a foot wrong all series and added the accolade to her long list of achievements which included serving in Afghanistan with the Army to being a ballet dancer.

[Read more: Prue Leith feared being sued over Bake Off leak]

Unfortunately, Prue let the cat out of the bag when she accidentally tweeted who the winner was on the day of the final, before the episode had gone out. Apparently, she was out of the country and had been confused by the time difference.

As well as the incredible Sophie, the series also produced another star. Teenage student Liam Charles didn’t make the final, but his cheery personality and commitment to baking made him a favourite with viewers and he’s since co-presented Bake Off: The Professionals.

[Bake Off: The Professionals – Who is Liam Charles?]

The Great British Bake Off will return to Channel 4 later in the year.

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