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.

The Great British Bake Off series 9 is racing towards its grand final on Tuesay, October 30th and only 4 contestants remain in with a chance of being crowned this year's champion.

One of Briony, Kim-Joy, Rahul or Ruby will be this year's number one - but they still have several dastardly challenges to navigate first.


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

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

What theme week is coming next?

Semi-Final - Patisserie Week

It's the semi-final of the Great British Bake Off, and the remaining bakers are desperate to claim their place in the final. They know they are just three patisserie challenges away from the biggest day in their baking lives. First comes the Signature, and there's a deceptively simple challenge with Paul and Prue looking for perfection.

The heat is on with Prue's complex, multi-layered Technical. And the semi-finalists feel the pressure when they're asked to create a spectacular Showstopper that could grace a Parisian patisserie. Who has the skill to reach the Bake Off final? And who will fall at the final hurdle? 


Twelve bakers started. Now just three remain. But only one can be crowned winner of The Great British Bake Off 2018. This week's final sees Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith set three challenges that will test every aspect of the bakers' skills, including doughnuts, immaculate decoration and a bake not baked in the tent!

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?

The Great British Bake Off  airs Tuesdays at 8pm on Channel 4.

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?

Antony - Eliminated Week 3, Bread Week

Age: 29

From: London

Occupation: Banker

Antony was brought up in India and learned to bake with his father. He has a bold attitude to flavour combinations and once tasted 50 choux buns on a trip to Paris.

He said: “As a little kid I was always in awe of my dad who made the best Christmas cakes and pizzas back home in India. He was and will always remain my inspiration.”

How he was eliminated:

"Although I knew bread week might be my doomsday, I wouldn’t change the experience for the world.

"Paul prowling around the tent made me stupidly nervous as he is the Bread King, so that wrecked my nerves as I wanted to try my best in bread week.

"My family in India are pretty elated about the whole experience. They are so proud of me.

"I can’t believe I was still smiling as I finished the bake, as I felt an emotional wreck."

[Read more: Where are the Great British Bake Off winners now?]



Age: 33

From: Bristol

Occupation: Full-time parent

Briony was inspired by her grandma’s baking wisdom, but taught herself how to bake with the help of YouTube tutorials. She’s made wedding cakes and stunning novelty cakes for friends and family.

She said: “I never thought in a million years I'd be on TV! I will be watching through my fingers, probably cringing at myself.”

Dan - Eliminated Week 6, Pastry

Age: 36

From: London

Occupation: Full-time parent

After spending the last six years at home looking after his two small children, Dan is ready to do something for himself. He thinks the way a bake looks is as important as how it tastes, and spends many hours getting the details just right.

He said: “I have been at home looking after the kids for the last six years, so it was a chance to do something for myself. With my youngest starting school, I’m now ready to rejoin the world of adults - I hoped that Bake Off might represent an opportunity to do something that I love and am passionate about.”

How he was eliminated

Solid samosas, blackened Puits d’amour and an undercooked salmon coulibiac showstopper sealed Dan's fate.

He said: “I never ever want to make my pastry salmon coulibiac again, and I can’t really see myself making a biscuit chandelier again.

“I made stupid mistakes in the (technical challenge) and knew from then it was all going a bit wrong and the end of the road for me.

“To be honest, I had run out of steam, Bake Off is a marathon of endurance. I think it might have been a more sensible decision to have paced myself and not sprinted at the start.

“Although I hope I am known as a good baker, I never thought I would actually win it, but at the same time it was devastating when it all came crashing down.”

Imelda - Eliminated Week 1 Biscuit Week

Age: 33

From: County Tyrone

Occupation: Countryside recreation officer

Imelda has a busy work and family life, but always makes time to cook up soda bread and biscuits for her family, and cakes for her colleagues.

She said: “My friends will be so, so surprised, they wouldn’t think I would do something like this, and an auntie that I go to yoga with every week will want to know why I didn’t tell her!”

How she was eliminated:

The countryside recreation officer, 33, from County Tyrone failed to impress judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood in Week 1 Biscuit Week.

Imelda made an impression with her cherry and white chocolate oatmeal biscuits in the first round, but she struggled in the technical challenge, coming in 11th place.

Her final bake, for which she constructed her own face in biscuit against a seaside backdrop, was critiqued as “quite simple” and “a little bland, and dry” by Leith.

Hollywood said he could not detect her flavours of lemon and ginger, and compared the overall bake to a “stale shortbread”.

She said: “I’m frustrated because I know I can do better, but at the same time, it was one of the best experiences of my life.”

Jon - Eliminated Vegan Week - Week 7

Age: 47

From: Newport

Occupation: Blood courier

Welshman Jon loves to use baking as a way of winding down after a tough day at work. He loves a showy bake and likes to challenge himself by experimenting with new techniques.

He said: “The tent is far easier than my kitchen, at home I have the kids running around, after-school clubs to pick up from and my wife trying to keep the kitchen clean and tidy. The time pressure in the tent was harder of course but I have to admit I loved every minute!”

Karen - Eliminated Week 5, Spice Week

Age: 60

From: West Yorkshire

Occupation: In-store sampling assistant

Although she’s always loved baking, Karen really got into it when she owned a house in France and learned French classics such as eclairs, religieuse buns, and tartes au citron. She says she doesn’t bake at home as often as some of the others, but likes making things for parties.

She said: “I was approaching 60 and I found it really liberating to do something like this. As you get older you feel less inhibited, and think does it matter if you make a fool of yourself. I have always wanted to be even more flamboyant and free, I really wanted to do this for me and I thought it was the right time to step up and take on some challenges and have some fun.”


Age: 27

From: Leeds

Occupation: Mental health specialist

Kim-Joy’s eclectic attitude to baking reflects her background – she was born in Belgium to an English father and a Malaysian-Chinese mother, and grew up in London. Her speciality bake is any type of bread.

She said: “None of my family really bake, it’s just me that bakes. My friends have always wanted me to apply, but I didn’t feel confident enough to apply until this year. I went into the tent mostly for myself to see if I could it!”

Luke - Eliminated Week 2 in Cake Week

Age: 30

From: Sheffield

Occupation: Civil servant and house/techno DJ

Luke has been baking since he was a small child and is inspired by his travels. He takes a clean, minimalistic approach to his creations.

He said: “People at work will have no idea. I sit at my desk and sometimes overhear colleagues talking about Bake Off, so it will be strange walking into the office when everyone finds out!”

What he said about his elimination:

“Even though it was just two weeks, it was an amazing two weeks. I was absolutely devastated to leave, there is no getting away from that.

“But on reflection now, it was one of the best experiences of my life. I have made 11 new friends for life as well!

“I was absolutely gutted that I didn’t get to bread week, as I feel that is one of my baking strengths.”

Manon - Eliminated in Danish Week - Week 8

Age: 26

From: London

Occupation: Software project manager

French-born Manon grew up in a foodie family, but only discovered her love of baking when she came to London to work as an au pair. She was inspired by the many types of bakery that the city has to offer.

She said: “When me and my best friend came to England, Bake Off was one of the first shows we watched together on TV. So I think I’m doing it for my best friend and flatmate, and my closest girlfriends that have always rooted for me and supported me throughout my baking journey.”


Age: 30

From: Rotherham

Occupation: Research scientist

Rahul grew up in Kolkata, but moved to the UK on a university scholarship and has fused flavours from both of his homes. He is fascinated by the science of baking and plans everything he makes with precision.

He said: “Even five years ago I really had no idea about The Great British Bake Off. One of my colleagues kind of pushed me to apply for Bake Off. He kept sending me the application link, until I said to him that I have started applying.”


Age: 29

From: London

Occupation: Project manager

Ruby learned to bake growing up in her Indian family, but put her own spin on things at university when she started to bake for her housemates. She likes to add booze to whatever she is making and has a relaxed style.

She said: “Because I am so new to baking there are going to be so many people that will be shocked. I don’t really post about my baking on social media, so I am sure my friends are going to be surprised. I think it may blow their minds as they know me for going out and going to the gym as opposed to being in the kitchen. I am a bit of an undercover baker!”

Terry - Eliminated Week 5, Spice Week

Age: 56

From: West Midlands

Occupation: Retired air steward

Terry was taught to bake by his grandma and dad, but his style reflects his varied background. He has worked as a prosthetic technician, has experience in fine art, and has a microbrewery and allotment, all of which contribute in some way to his bakes.

He said: “I bake most days, my daily bread! My kitchen couldn’t be more different to the tent, it’s calm, quiet and cool. It’s my haven, I spend most of my time in there, baking or painting. It’s my zen place and always has been. If you can’t find me in the house I am in the kitchen.”

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 airs Tuesdays at 8pm on Channel 4.

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