The Great British Bake Off returned to TV screens on Tuesday, and while many had their eyes glued to the tasty looking bakes, others were left scratching their heads at the lack of social distancing inside the famous tent.
As the rest of the nation has to adhere to social distancing guidelines while in public spaces, why did the cast of this year Bake Off not do the same?
The Bake Off bubble
This year’s programme required the cast and crew to be placed into a Covid-safe bubble with one another during the entire filming of the series. This helped allow the show to be filmed without social distancing becoming an issue.
A total of 120 production staff, including the bakers, judges, crew and support staff had to live in a self-contained area at Down Hall country house and hotel in Essex. Some of the bakers were allowed to bring their partners and children with them. Those taking part also had to isolate for nine days and take three Covid-19 tests before entering the hotel.
The whole series was filmed over a six week period.
Host Noel Fielding explained the decision, saying, “To save this year’s competition, the bakers have volunteered to leave their loved ones and live in our very own bakers bubble."
Love Productions creative director Kieran Smith, told the Observer that the show looks completely normal because of the preparation before filming.
She said, “The whole point of the bubble was being able to be close to each other or pat people on the back, or it wouldn’t be Bake Off.”
A new location
The show has traditionally been filmed in Berkshire at Welford Park since 2014.
Channel 4 decided to move this year’s filming to Down Hall Hotel. The country house is surrounded by 110 acres of woodland and parkland.