How Long Does It Take To Film An Episode Of The Great British Baking Show?

If you're a fan of high-stakes baking and large tents, then surely the universe has guided your hungry eyes to "The Great British Baking Show." The first episode of the now mega-successful show aired in 2010, but it was not an instant hit. According to Cosmopolitan, the show was initially on BBC Two, clearly signaling that the network was not certain of the show's ability to succeed. 

After four seasons, the show was finally upgraded to BBC One. By that time, it was a top ratings generator for the channel. "The Great British Baking Show," or "The Great British Bake Off" as it's known in the UK, is a 10-episode journey that follows a group of quirky amateur bakers on their quest for culinary greatness. However, their sweet journey starts long before they even set foot in the iconic tent. In fact, Rav Bansal from Season 7 told Insider the application begins "with the longest application form in the history of forms."

Filming is an intense process

The application process begins with thousands of hopefuls looking to get their big break on the reality show. From the thousands who apply, the field is eventually narrowed "down to about 20 or 30," according to former contestant Ali Imdad, who spoke to Insider. Imdad revealed those chosen 20 or 30 potential contestants are then required "to see a psychologist to see if [they] could handle the fame that might come from [being on the show]." 

Once the final bakers have been selected, the arduous filming process begins. After intense edits are made, the audience only sees the finished, polished product. However, each one-hour episode takes about 10 to 16 hours to film. Season 9 baker Antony Amourdoux revealed, "You start early in the morning and it ends a little after six or seven in the evening." Amourdoux also admitted that the show is filmed mostly over the weekend as well, because, get this, most of the contestants are still holding down nine to fives while filming. "So Saturday will be the whole day and Sunday will be early in the morning to around midday," he revealed. 

Baked goods are not the only thing you can smell in the tent

Long days of filming are not the only conditions that contestants have spoken on. Many bakers from seasons past have come forward to expose some of the untold truth of "The Great British Bake Off," and not everything is flattering. Season 9 contestant Antony Amourdoux told Insider that the cast is required to wear the same clothes two days in a row to ensure show optics are consistent. "It's easier if you're a presenter or Paul Hollywood because I'll tell you what, he's only there for about an hour. After that he goes and changes and chills out." However, Amourdoux revealed, "[I]f you are a baker, you are sweating in those clothes and you're proper stinky." 

While the clothing issue may shock some fans, a former contestant has come forward to share that one of the critical elements of the show's competition is genuine. Season 8's Stacey Hart shared that the time constraints given to accomplish a challenge are very much adhered to. She said, "Do [viewers] know that we really only get the time that they say we get? I mean, some people don't believe it." This may be a relief to anyone who doubted the process, considering reality TV does not have a great track record for "realness." 

"The Great British Baking Show" has become an international smash over the last few years, known for its good natured contestants and even launching a few lucky winners into stardom. As of October 2021, "The Great British Baking Show" was renewed for a 13th season and is set to air sometime in 2022 (via The Cinemaholic).