How Does a Holiday Baking Show Film in a Pandemic?
For anyone who enjoys The Great British Baking Show and the holiday season, Netflix has excellent news for you. The Great British Baking Show: Holidays is airing now! But fans have also been wondering when the show was filmed, primarily due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Was 'The Great British Baking Show: Holidays' actually filmed close to the holidays?
The most recent season of The Great British Baking Show was filmed in what creative director Richard McKerrow called a "bio-bubble," which involved a highly complex process to get contestants, who were cast in February, filming by April. 100 contestants and crew members were forced to live and remain in a hotel with a good chunk of staff.
On top of this, contestants had to do nine days of at-home quarantine, two COVID tests, and then a third COVID test prior to arrival at the hotel after 48-hours of self-isolation before they were allowed to compete. Whew! The shooting schedule was also cut short, Richard says, filming over six weeks instead of the usual length of time.
This being said, producers have been tight-lipped about the holiday episode filming. In all likelihood, the shows airing now were filmed during the April quarantine period. The goal was for filming to be as safe as humanly possible, and we're certain with three COVID tests and no reported cases from set, the production team for The Great British Baking Show: Holidays achieved what they set out to do.
Who can we expect on the holiday episodes?
The first set of holiday episodes have already begun to air, with some special guests on this year's season (or, for the Brits, "series"!) The cast of Netflix's Derry Girls are featured not only in the holiday episodes but a part of Series 9 as well. Fans were delighted to see their favorite Irish actors in action, taking to Twitter to shoutout the unexpected surprise.
Some praised the holiday season overall, because despite only the first two episodes airing, it was really the bit of holiday joy we deserved in 2020. A fan was more than eager to praise a second helping of Derry Girls, remarking, "The Derry girls are gonna be on The Great British Baking Show: Holidays season...the crossover I never knew I needed."
While this is a crossover that sparks a lot of joy, hopefully there is more on the way! In addition to the famous cast members, this season features wonderful returning bakers James Hillery (Series 8), Ruby Bhogal (Series 9), Jamie Finn (Series 10), Rosie Brandreth-Poynter (Series 10) and Nancy Birtwhistle (Series 5), Rahul Mandal (Series 9), Helena Garcia (Series 10), and Henry Bird (Series 10).
No matter the season, The Great British Baking Show is the feel-good entertainment we're looking forward to eagerly watching this December. As is tradition, following the 'holiday' season, there will be a New Year's edition, so we'll just have to keep our eyes open. Maybe we'll see some more celebrity guest stars! The Great British Baking Show: Holidays is now airing on Netflix.