Series 11 of The Great British Bake Off is in full swing, and American viewers are getting their sugar fix on Netflix, where the series is streaming under the moniker The Great British Baking Show Collection 8. Don’t expect the winner of this 2020 bake-off to land a big prize, however: You don’t win much on The Great British Baking Show. But as prior victors have proven, the real reward is the exposure.
What do you win on ‘The Great British Baking Show’?
As opposed to the jackpot winnings of American reality competitions, winners of The Great British Bake Off receive a cake stand and a bouquet of flowers. (Maybe that’s why the competition never gets cutthroat!)
“Everyone is so surprised and thinks there must be some secret cash, but all we really get is a bunch of flowers and a cake stand,” former Bake Off contestant Martha Collison told The Sun in 2019.
Bake Off victors, however, do win fame if not a fortune. “[You] kind of become a national treasure just by doing it because everyone in Britain loves the Bake Off so much,” Martha added.
Indeed, past Great British Bake Off winners have scored cookbook deals, TV shows, and newspaper columns. Series 6 winner Nadiya Hussain even got to bake the 90th birthday cake for Queen Elizabeth II, whipping up an orange drizzle cake for the British monarch.
Who’s the new host of ‘The Great British Baking Show’?
In March 2020, actor Matt Lucas announced that he would cohost Series 11, replacing former cohost Sandi Toksvig, who announced her departure in January.
“I’m chuffed to bits to be joining the most delicious show on television,” Matt said in a statement, per BBC News. “I can’t wait to break bread with Noel, Prue and Paul and meet the brilliant bakers.”
Matt is best known in the U.K., where he has starred on comedy series like Rock Profile, Little Britain, and Come Fly With Me. Stateside, meanwhile, he has made appearances in the films Bridesmaids, Alice in Wonderland, and Alice Through the Looking Glass.
Is there a celebrity edition of ‘The Great British Baking Show’?
Celebrities from both sides of the pond have competed on the spinoffs The Great Sport Relief Bake Off, The Great Comic Relief Bake Off, and The Great Stand Up to Cancer Bake Off, which all benefit their titular charities.
Actress Bonnie Wright was a Star Baker of The Great Sport Relief Bake Off Series 2, for example, while fellow Harry Potter star Warwick Davis took top honors of an episode of The Great Comic Relief Bake Off Series 1.
More recently, The Crown star John Lithgow competed in The Great Stand Up to Cancer Bake Off Series 2 — even creating a gingerbread version of himself as Winston Churchill — but he lost to comedian Russell Brand. John later called it a “horrifying experience,” especially because judge Prue Leith deemed his Swiss roll “not salable in any cake shop.”