Great British Bake Off studio felt like safest place in England, says Prue Leith

Prue Leith has said the makeshift studio where the new series of the Great British Bake Off was filmed felt like “the safest place in the whole of England”.

Filming was initially delayed by coronavirus but eventually resumed without the need for stringent social distancing measures.

Contestants, presenters and others working on the programme stayed in a hotel throughout the duration of filming.

Virgin Media BAFTA TV Awards 2019 – Arrivals – London
Prue Leith (Matt Crossick/PA)

Leith said: “I ended up thinking, ‘This is the safest place in the whole of England’.

“All 130 people, which includes the hotel staff and all of the crew and all the support staff and all the bakers, we all had been tested to death.

“We had our temperatures taken every morning. So when we were in the tent, we were allowed to behave absolutely freely and that was great, because that meant that the viewer will see Bake Off like they’re used to.”

She added that new presenter Matt Lucas, who has replaced Sandi Toksvig as Noel Fielding’s co-host, was popular.

UKTV Live season launch
Matt Lucas (Ian West/PA)

“I think everybody loved Matt,” she said.

“And do you know, what’s interesting is he knew nothing whatsoever about baking, but he became really interested in it, and he was very good with the bakers, because he genuinely wanted to know what they were doing and why they were doing it.”

She added he was “nervous” when he first arrived.

“But as soon as he walked into the tent – like actors walking on to the stage – all those nerves just disappeared, and he was absolutely brilliant,” Leith said.

Bake Off resumes on September 22 at 8pm on Channel 4.

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