The Return of ‘The Great British Baking Show’ Is Just Around the Corner!

 

 Judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, with hosts Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc  (Photo: Courtesy of Mark Boudillon @ Love Productions)

Get ready, America - another season of The Great British Baking Show is almost here. Yes, our favorite gentle, civilized, oh-so-British culinary reality show is back! If you’re anything like me, you too have been missing the bakers’ tent, Mel and Sue’s puns, and mentions of the dreaded “soggy bottom”. 

So what do you need to know about season four of The Great British Baking Show?  I’m happy you asked. Below I will attempt to answer your burning (but not overbaked) questions.

Who is competing this time around?

As in seasons past, the competition begins with six women and six men. Their ages range from 20 to 67. The field is comprised of people from various vocations from teachers and gardeners to vicars and engineers. One thing they all have in common is a love of baking.

Will this season feature the much-publicized personnel changes we’ve heard about?

Not yet. What we are about to see is actually the final season produced by the BBC which aired last fall in the UK. Their season seven is our season four. Judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, along with the presenting duo of Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins team up for one last hurrah.

As you may recall, Mr. Hollywood opted to move with the show to its new UK home at Channel 4. The rest of the crew decided to part ways with the production, making in necessary for the program to recruit another judge, cookery queen Prue Leith, and new pair of presenters, comedians Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding. Reports say that Channel 4 will air a new season of The Great British Bake Off (as it is known in the UK) before the end of 2017.

At this time, nothing has been said in regard to PBS airing the Channel 4 version in the future. As they say, watch this space.

When can I see it?

This is where things get tricky. The official debut date according to PBS is Friday, June 16 from 9-11 pm ET. Two installments will be aired consecutively, the first being the cake episode and the second will feature biscuit-based challenges. My home channel in Cleveland is following this schedule; however, for those of you in the WETA viewing area, it's a big more complicated. In D.C., the new season of the Baking Show will premiere on Friday, June 23. BUT, it'll air a triple treat. Season 4's first three episodes will broadcast back-to-back-to-back, and then after that we'll be following the regular PBS station for the foreseeable future. Our British channel, WETA UK, will be airing the seires on Sunday nights, beginning June 18. So it sort of just depends on how your personal schedule works out. 

So as we always suggest, check your local listings for the dates and times in your area! (It's actually super important this time, just saying.) 

If you are already a fan, you won’t want to miss the final season of the GBBS with its original cast. If you are new to this TV phenomenon, you are in for a treat.

 

Whatever your status, I hope you’ll join me as I recap all ten rounds. From the triumphs of each Star Baker to the heartbreak of the contestant eliminations, I can’t wait to watch and hear those three wonderful words, “Ready, set bake!” How about you? Will you be joining us for The Great British Baking Show this summer?