Since its meteoric rise, The Great British Bake Off has charmed millions with its “warm blanket” appeal. Unlike most reality competition shows—especially those in the cooking sphere, which often feature screaming chefs and ticking countdowns—GBBO entered the scene with an incredibly low-stakes charm. Set in the idyllic English countryside and starring a group of amateur bakers, the challenge often feels more like a backdrop for cheesy jokes and endearing mishaps. However, after a rocky 13th season, many fans have come to the consensus that GBBO has become far too difficult. And producers seem to be listening.
According to the Mirrorsan insider source revealed that GBBO plans to “strip it back to basics” in the next season, while adding a few twists. “There is a realization last year’s show didn’t really work,” the insider reportedly said.
This realization has been backed up with some concerning statistics. Metro reports that GBBO‘s last season was the lowest-rated in series history since moving to Channel 4 in 2017.
Metro also reports that executive producer Richard McKerrow recently discussed the turbulent state of GBBO on The Media Podcasts with Matt Deegan.
“Heading into Season 14, you have to take a look at it and think, ‘S***, [are] the challenges too complicated?’” McKerrow reportedly told Deegan. McKerrow candidly called the latest season of GBBO “not our strongest,” but ensured that producers are ready to make the necessary tweaks to improve the upcoming season. “We’re looking very, very, very hard at making sure it’s as good a series as it can be,” he said.
What this process of “scaling back” will look like is still a mystery. But the critique seems to be an ongoing challenge for the series; judge Paul Hollywood commented on a similar issue in 2019.
“I thought sometimes we’ve been running away with some of the challenges being too difficult,” Hollywood told Metro following Season 9. Hollywood previously stated that the series had “scaled back a little bit.” This leads us to wonder whether modifying the show’s format might be the most difficult GBBO challenge of all.