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GBBO 2020: This year’s Bake Off contenders include an armed guard and a pantomime producer

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Bake Off fans, hold onto your whisks: the fresh new batch of 12 contenders for this year’s show (a coronavirus-era special) have been announced, with amateur bakers including an armed guard and a pantomime producer in the mix.

We all know that the true beauty of The Great British Bake Off lies in its colourful selection of wannabe bakers. 

For where would the most iconic of baking shows be without the joyful eccentricity of Kim-Joy, the surprise triumph of one-to-watch Rahul Mandal, or the self-belief battle of Nadiya Hussain – the woman behind one of the most moving Bake Off acceptance speeches of all time? 

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So it’s with gleeful anticipation that we get set to meet the newly-unveiled competitors behind this year’s specially adapted show.

Not only are the 12 new contenders for the Bake Off crown bravely throwing their egg whisks into the ring – and risking the wrath of gimlet-eyed judge Paul Hollywood in the process – they also took on a double-whammy challenge by entering a bubble for seven weeks in order to make filming conditions for the Channel 4 programme Covid-safe. 

This year’s fresh Bake Off line-up is just as quirky as the new trailer, above, suggests, with mavericks and chancers aplenty – along with all the squelchy baking blunders you could possibly hope for (“I’m going to put a cake in the microwave” is surely one of the best lines of the show to date).

The 2020 contestants include “perpetually frustrated perfectionist” Lottie, a pantomime producer, and armed guard Dave, who enjoys cooking to the dulcet tones of punk rock. 

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Hermine, an accountant and notorious feeder with a love of high-end pâtissérie, also joins the line-up alongside radiographer Loriea, who uses baking as a means to celebrate her Caribbean roots.

Meanwhile bronze resin sculptor Marc turns to baking for therapeutic reasons after losing his leg in a motorbike accident in 2016, while the high-pressure environment of the tent will put digital manager Laura’s penchant for faultlessly pretty bakes to the test as never before.

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Into this fruity mix come newbie presenter Matt “I have the eating age of a nine-year-old” Lucas, who replaces the beloved Sandi Toksvig alongside Noel Fielding as the show’s bumbling duo of hosts. 

Hollywood, meanwhile, will resume his judging hot seat next to the excellent Prue Leith, who, like her Bake Off predecessor Mary Berry, is ready to cast a discerning eye over any soggy bottom that comes her way.

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With all the ups and downs of this year, it’s great to know that Bake Off’s irresistible blend of innuendo, cheesy puns, loveable contestants and brilliant bakes will continue unhindered. 

As reported by Broadcast, Kieran Smith, creative director at Love Productions (the company that produces the show), helped to coordinate a series of measures with the production team this summer, to ensure filming for the show could go ahead. 

Smith said the cast and crew of the series all had to self-isolate together in a location in the South-East of England for nearly two months in order to make the production Covid-safe. 

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“So many people rely on Bake Off for work that we knew we had to work out a plan,” he said.

“It was a massive operation, we even [built] 12 practice kitchens for the bakers to use on their days off. It felt like the safest place in Britain.”

The new GBBO team in action

Smith also talked about working with newcomer Lucas.

“He was practically living with the bakers,” he said. “It felt like he had always been there.”

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The new season of The Great British Bake Off starts on Tuesday 22 September at 8pm on Channel 4. Get your iced buns in a row and have a cosy cuppa handy as TV’s most comforting show makes a most welcome comeback. 

 Images: Channel 4

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…