The Great British Bake Off, a combination of scrummy showstoppers and plenty of kitchen catastrophes, is proving a treat for this year’s viewers as we journey through the 12th series of this beloved British classic.

Contestants are once again battling through the drama, sweat and tears to win the competition as well as to be crowned Star Baker of this national treasure of a TV show, and in the hope of securing cookbook deals and launching cooking schools after the show.

Here’s all you need to know about the new series of The Great British Bake Off.

What’s happened so far?

Week One’s episode was ‘Cake Week’, but it wasn’t all sweet, as Tom was the first contestant to leave the tent – leaving some viewers gutted. The bakers were tasked to create a series of 12 mini-rolls in the signature dish and a malt loaf, with the showstopper being a gravity defying illusion cake. Jurgen ended up being this series’ first Star Baker, impressing the judges with his book-and-lamp construction.

Week Two was ‘Biscuit Week’, proving to be a tough cookie for some of the bakers. In a dramatic episode, Maggie burst into tears and Amanda’s showstopper collapsed, leaving her thinking that she was going to be sent home. However, Jairzeno was the baker to leave the tent this week, with his showstopper “more of a shipwreck”. Jurgen, meanwhile, won Star Baker yet again after he produced a huge windmill made out of biscuit.

Week Three saw the contestants take part in ‘Bread Week’, and the episode was dominated by a few somewhat more quiet bakers coming to the fore. Some say that Bread Week is a strong indication of the outcome of the series, with its Star Baker always ending up in the final. The technical challenge involved baking 12 dampfnudels, a German steamed bread, and ended up in a competition to ‘not be the worst’ rather than to be the best. The showstopper, meanwhile, saw the bakers recreate Cyprus, Noah’s Ark and harvest baskets. Star Baker was Giuseppe, the chief engineer from Bristol, whilst Rochica was eliminated.

When did The Great British Bake Off start?

The Great British Bake Off returned to Channel 4 in September, and after a staggering 10.8 million people watched the last season, the series is set to attract millions more this time around.

So, keep your Tuesday evenings free as the show airs at its usual 8pm spot.

Not in the UK? Don’t worry – as the new series will make its debut on Netflix for audiences around the world, shortly after its UK broadcast.

Where is The Great British Bake Off held?

This season was filmed at the Down Hall Hotel in Essex, as it was last year. With a familiar setting in the white Bake Off tents, 12 contestants will be going head to head for baking glory within the grounds of the hotel.

Who are The Great British Bake Off judges and hosts?

Noel Fielding is back co-hosting the new series of The Great British Bake Off alongside fellow comedian Matt Lucas, despite missing out on the recent run of celebrity and Christmas specials.

Restaurateur and chef Prue Leith, meanwhile, joins Paul Hollywood again for the pleasure of judging the contestants’ creations.

Who are The Great British Bake Off contestants?

As usual, The Great British Bake Off guarantees a line-up that brings together home bakers from across the nation.

Amanda is a 56-year-old Met Police detective from London, a fan of Greek baking due to her Greek-Crypiot heritage.

Chigs is a 40-year-old sales manager from Leicestershire, a self-taught baker via video tutorials.

Crystelle is a 26-year-old client relationship manager from London bringing her Kenyan and Portuguese-Goan heritage to the kitchen.

George is a 34-year-old Shared Lives Co-ordinator from London, who savours family life.

Giuseppe is a 45-year old chief engineer from Bristol, who is a self-confessed “food snob.”

Jairzeno is a 51-year old head of finance from London and a fan of rich flavours.

Jürgen is a 56-year-old IT professional from Sussex, who bakes his own traditional German bread.

Lizzie is a 28-year-old Car Production Operative from Liverpool, who prefers simple presentation over elaborate design.

Maggie is a 70-year-old retired nurse and midwife from Dorset, who is as much of an experimenter as a traditional baker.

Rochica is a 27-year-old Junior HR business partner from Birmingham, and is especially proud of how her Jamaican heritage influences her baking.

Tom is a 28-year-old software developer from Kent and a recipe creator rather than recipe follower.

Freya is from North Yorkshire and she is the first ever vegan baker in Great British Bake Off.

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