Each season of The Great British Bake Off, ranked
Baking bread, kneading dough and frosting cakes provide some comfort. Sometimes it’s even more exciting to watch others do it in action. That’s what The Great British Cake has to offer – that’s a pretty straightforward premise. Now in its twelfth season, the hit Netflix series has racked up a large following in the United States and across the pond. With a changing cast and occasional guest appearances from celebrities like James McAvoy and Daisy Ridley, fans keep listening to more.
Dedicated fans know that judge Paul hollywood runs the “Bread Week” and hosts Matt Lucas will offer jokes and solace to any competitor in distress. But not all tent experiences are the same. This is how the different seasons of The Great British Cake stack on top of each other.
12. Season 1
When The Great British Cake First aired in 2010, it was just another baking contest in a sea of similar shows. Hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins with the judges Marie berry and Paul Hollywood brought the concept to life, and the rest is history. Although now one of the best reality shows on Netflix, the series had to find its marks first.
The season that started was totally different from what fans are now expecting. For one thing, the tent has moved locations for each episode based on that week’s theme. With just six episodes in total, it was the shortest season and didn’t include a Star Baker award. Much has changed since then.
11. Season 4
Berry, Hollywood, Giedroyc and Perkins returned for the fourth installment of The great british Pastry shop. Despite having some of the highest ratings on BBC Two at the time (7.4 million on average), Season 4 offered some relatively routine challenges and pastries.
It’s not that the candidates were rude – some even pursued culinary careers afterwards. Nothing particularly memorable happened as the series continued to develop into what audiences now know.
10. Season 2
In season 2, the series looked like what fans now know. A “Star Baker” was selected each week and filming took place in a tent rather than in multiple locations.
Still airing on BBC Two, ratings were relatively low but still ranked in slots 1 and 2 on the network at the time. But it was still the early days of the pastry contest, and the hosts and judges were getting to work together in quintessential comedic charm that fans adore.
9. Season 10
Season 10 was still learning to differentiate itself from the previous ones with new hosts Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig. Between quality cooking and friendly competitors, it has become another fan favorite season.
Similar to Season 4, this one started with 13 contestants and included a double elimination in one episode. Despite the stiff competition and the growing prestige of the title “Star Baker”, the comedy and excitement of this season made it easy to watch.
8. Season 5
Let’s be honest, fans love to watch the drama that takes place in reality competitions. Season 5 was defined by controversy and the infamous #BinGate incident. The events were made all the more dramatic by the editing and commentary from the hosts.
In the fourth episode of the season, contestant Diana Beard pulled opponent Ian Watter’s ice cream out of the freezer for “just a minute.” As a result, Watter’s could no longer use him in the challenge and he was subsequently eliminated that week. Hundreds of fans have lodged complaints with the BBC about the incident, and Beard even gave his own side of the story on BBC Radio Shropshire.
7. Season 3
Everyone knew what The Great British Cake would involve season 3 by now. Contestants started their journey with “Cake Week” followed by “Bread Week”, “Biscuit Week” and more. The hosts knew how to make the tent more pleasant with lines and jokes, and the judges brought the drama.
The number of viewers has also increased compared to previous seasons and has reached a constant average of 4 to 5 million. Meanwhile, the Season 3 finale drew over 6 million people (more than any other show in this time slot).
6. Season 7
Now The Great British Cake was gaining momentum and was shown on the BBC, Netflix and PBS channels. Season 7 was the last to air on BBC One after switching to Channel 4 in the UK.
It was sad to see longtime hosts Perkins and Giedroyc accompanying Judge Berry. But with a stellar cast of contestants and heartwarming moments in the tent, it all turned out well in the end. Fans certainly agreed, too, given that the season finale drew a record 15.9 million viewers.
5. Season 12
Audiences might have dropped slightly at the start of Season 12, but the show still managed to make the top ten on Netflix when it first aired. The most recent season of The Great British Cake brought back cheerful hosts Fielding and Lucas who work really well together.
On top of that, the contestants brought high level skills and passion to the tent – which is needed after 12 years of watching a similar format.
4. Season 8
Lots of changes were in store for Season 8 of The Great British Cake. The show changed channels, new hosts Noah Fielding and Lucas signed on, and Prue Leith replaced longtime judge Mary Berry.
The season drew 8-9 million regular viewers and peaked in the finale with 10 million viewers. It looks like all of these tweaks to the series have paid off, and it was just the start of a new era for the series.
3. Season 6
At the very least, Season 6 shone among the rest for one reason: winning that of Nadiya Hussein evolution as a baker. “Pure perfection and I enjoyed every minute of it,” Berry said of Nadiya in the last episode.
But it wasn’t just Nadiya who wowed the judges. Each week the contestants made the eliminations tough with one big cook after another. Over 15 million viewers watched the Season 6 finale, and there’s clearly a reason for that.
2. Season 11
As the pandemic persisted, The Great British Cake worked hard to bring activity to the screens that so many viewers were already participating in; pastry shop. The cast and crew worked under strict safety protocol and self-isolation during the filming, living and working together for weeks.
The first three episodes of the season have been extended to 90 minutes and this was the first time episodes have aired simultaneously in the UK and on Netflix. Logistics aside, the contestants themselves brought new stories and passion to the tent and Peter Sawkins became the youngest winner in the show’s history at just 20 years old.
1. Season 9
This season has embodied what The Great British Cake is all about: quality bakers, friendly competitors and a great connection to everyone in the tent. The audience was also introduced to Rahul Mandal, a research scientist who quickly became a favorite among the judges (and winner of Season 9). This season solidified what many fans already knew, which is that cooking makes life better.
Changes were planned for the popular series from the very first episode. It started with “Biscuit Week” – as opposed to “Cake Week” like the last eight seasons – and the competitors took part for the first time in a technical challenge outside the tent. These adjustments seemed to be paying off, as Season 9 steadily drew 9 million viewers every week.
NEXT: James McAvoy Impresses On ‘Great British Bake Off’
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