Great British Bake Off 2018: Everything we know so far about the next series

Excited about the Great British Bake Off 2018? The next series returns this week, and though producers have remained tight-lipped about what's in store, here's everything we know so far.

After much speculation and fear from fans that it wouldn’t be quite the same, last year’s Bake Off – the first edition shown on Channel 4 after it switched from the BBC – was a huge success.

Figures show that last year’s final was watched live by 7.3 million people, making The Great British Bake Off the most watched show in Channel 4’s history since the Paralympics Opening Ceremony in 2012.

Bake Off 2018: When does it start?

Channel 4 has stuck with tradition, deciding to premiere the start of their second series in the last week of August. Tune in at 8pm on Tuesday, 28th August to watch the first episode.

Like last year, the channel whipped up plenty of excitement about the upcoming series by releasing a wonderfully quirky trailer, featuring an array of cakes and other baked goods singing in unison.

In 2017, colourful cupcakes, biscuits and Ian’s famous lion bread sang along to Paul McCartney’s We All Stand Together, while this year’s Bake Off trailer saw a range of treats joining in with Christina Aguilera’s hit song, Beautiful, which viewers loved yet again.

Bake off 2018: Who are the judges?

If you were worried Prue Leith would not be returning after accidentally revealing last year’s winner on Twitter just before the final had been aired, fear not. The veteran chef, cookery writer and teacher will be back to judge the baking contestants for her second year.

She will be joined by fellow judge Paul Hollywood, who’ll be returning for the ninth series of Bake Off, and is the only member who’s been there since the show premiered in 2010. He began his career working in his father’s bakery and went on to work in several internationally renowned hotels around the world, including The Dorchester in London.

Bake off 2018: Who are the presenters?

Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig also return for their second series as the Bake Off presenters, after  replacing veterans Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins.

Comedian Noel found fame on BBC 3’s surreal comedy The Mighy Boosh. He’s also appeared on the TV shows Nathan Barley, The IT Crowd and Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

Danish-born Sandi is a well-known broadcaster, writer and political activist. She’s been the host of the BBC quiz show QI since 2016 and is a very familiar voice on BBC Radio 4, as the host of the popular game show, Fifteen To One.

Viewers loved the presenting duo’s unique sense of humour last year and there’ll be plenty more laughs to come in this series. As we reported earlier this week, the pair take part in a hilarious Back to the Future parody during the series opening sequence, poking fun at Prue Leith’s social media blunder last year.

Bake off 2018: Who are the 12 contestants?

The 12 amateur bakers who’ll be hoping to impress with their signature bakes, technical challenges and show-stoppers include a techno DJ, a ‘Bollywood banker’, a retired air steward and mental health specialist who was born on World Baking Day.

Many of the contestants are self-taught, including a stay-at-home mum who picked up many of her skills from YouTube tutorials.

Bake off 2018: What themes will there be?

Earlier this year, we reported that Noel had suggested introducing a vegan week to the baking competition.

This week, Paul Hollywood confirmed this would be happening for the first time in the show’s history, along with a Danish week, in honour of presenter Sandi, who was born in Denmark.

The new series starts off with a classic theme – yes, it’s biscuit week! And, it gives us a chance to find out a lot more about the contestants, as they are all asked to start with a signature bake that is local to the area they’re from.

Later in the show, they create some extraordinary biscuit selfies representing a special moment in their lives. The results are so impressive, you won’t want to miss it!

The Great British Bake Off returns on August 28 at 8pm.