It Takes Longer to Audition for The Great British Bake Off than It Does to Film the Season

published Sep 21, 2018
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If you watch U.K. mainstay The Great British Bake Off, the reality competition where 10 amateur bakers duke it out to be crowned best baker in the land, there comes a moment where a tiny part of your brain tells you “maybe I could do this.” This usually happens when one of the 10 contestants makes a rookie mistake and confuses a stroopwafel for a caramel cookie during a technical challenge. But then, when you see the remaining bakers all creating a perfect complex dessert like an entremet or a blancmange, you’re sent back to earth.

Spoilers ahead! This post contains information about the winner of Series 8 of The Great British Bake Off.

Auditioning for The Great British Bake Off Is Intense

Well, if you aren’t phased by the prospect of having to make a treacle tart, a soufflé, or a roulade on the fly, perhaps like Series 8 winner Sophie Faldo, you should audition. But like the stuntwoman-turned-pastry-wunderkind told Vulture, don’t expect a quick cut-and-dry process.

“It’s quite exhausting. It takes months. I sent in my application form in the winter, and then I had a telephone interview that lasted an hour and a half. If they like you, then you do an in-person audition, and you have to bring in a couple of bakes and do another interview,” Faldo told Vulture. “And then, there’s a second round of auditions that includes an actual technical challenge, so they can see if you can actually bake or if someone was doing the baking for you. From start to finish, it was many months.”

That’s an audition with as many as five callbacks. And you have to bring treats! But Faldo isn’t the only contestant to speak up about the popular show’s rigorous casting process.

“I did (my form) before Christmas and I think we started filming in May,” series six contestant Mat Riley told The Sun earlier this year. The application form, according to Riley, is about four or five pages of questions and asks all sorts of technical things about your bakes.

Where Can I Apply?

While the application process is currently closed for The Great British Bake Off (they’re currently airing Series 9 on British Channel 4), across the pond The Great American Baking Show is currently accepting applications. (The American version first started airing in 2013, and is also judged by baking titan and piercing blue-eyed Paul Hollywood.) If their application is any indication, the casting process in the U.S. is just as thorough.

In addition to the standard questions all prospective game show contestants must answer, there are quite a few technical questions designed to weed out more casual bakers. For instance, they ask you if bake weekly, daily, or monthly (I imagine monthly is not a good answer), they ask you about the most difficult thing you’ve ever baked, and how often you bake everything from cookies to breads to custards, meringues, and pastries. And that’s just three of the 75 questions they ask you … in this initial application.

The producers also ask you if you have a valid U.S. passport, which seems to imply for this season of GABS, some of the lucky finalists will be taking a trip — perhaps across the Atlantic — to sample some of those great British bakes.