With the 10th series of Great British Bake Off just around the corner, we’ve crunched the numbers from every previous episode of the show to reveal what a baker needs to do to be crowned champion.
What makes the perfect contestant?
Women have performed better than men overall, with five more reaching the final over the last nine series’ and twice as many ending up as champion. However, age matters more than gender, as a baker in their fifties has less than half the chance of reaching the final as a rival in their thirties.
Where a baker hails from has also been a useful indicator of how far they’ll go, with northerners – those from Yorkshire in particular – performing more strongly than other competitors. Five of the nine champions to date have been from the North of England, four of whom were based in the Yorkshire and Humber region, despite more than twice as many entrants living in the south.
How important is it to win Star Baker?
Put simply, winning Star Baker at least once is a must. Since the award’s introduction in series two, every eventual champion has claimed it at least once and it’s been particularly influential in recent years. While the winners of series two through five claimed it once each, the four more recent champions bagged it at least twice. Furthermore, only one of the 27 finalists to date went through the competition without being crowned Star Baker: Mary-Ann all the way back in series two.
What about the technical challenges?
Every previous winner of the Great British Bake Off has claimed first place in at least once technical challenge, with more than half of them doing so at least twice. However, it would be foolish to write off a baker if they perform poorly in the first episode: in eight of the nine previous seasons, at least one of the eventual finalists finished in the bottom three for the first technical challenge.
While both judges – Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith – have to agree on a winner, one of the two has been more influential under the current format. Since Prue joined the show in series eight, there have been six episodes in which the winner of the technical challenge was also awarded Star Baker. Five of those six challenges were set by Prue, so watch out for bakers who excel at following her instructions.
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