The bakers are back in the tent! While the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has halted most television and movie production across the globe, the cast and crew of The Great British Bake Off secretly began filming a new season of the popular English competition series earlier this month.
As fans of the reality show know, it’s typically filmed inside a large tent built within the U.K.’s Welford Park, though the current season is reportedly being shot in a “more COVID-friendly location,” according to Deadline.
The publication reports that GBBO, which was set to start shooting again in April before the health crisis took hold, started filming a new season around July 8. In order to ensure everyone’s safety, the crew, contestants and judges were all quarantined leading up to filming to allow for safe person-to-person contact on set.
Love Productions produces GBBO and Gary Davey, the CEO of Sky Studios, its parent company, revealed that filming is “going very well” so far.
Sky Studios’ chief commercial officer, Jane Millichip, declined to say much about the recent developments, but told attendees at a virtual Broadcasting Press Guild lunch: “It’s all happening in deep secret, somewhere in darkest, deepest Britain in the shires.”
Davey added that the show has a 55-page “bible” of safety protocols and is prepared to shoot through further coronavirus spikes, if necessary. “It’s prudent to do that because having to shut down a big production again mid-shoot would be really quite catastrophic,” he explained.
As for when fans will see more GBBO on the small screen? Davey and Millichip hinted that residents of the U.K. can expect to watch additional bakers vying for the top prize later this year.
However, given that the program streams via Netflix in the U.S. (where it is actually known as The Great British Baking Show) a stateside premiere date is still up in the air. In fact, it’s likely that a new season won’t drop in America until 2021.
Since its premiere in August 2010, GBBO has crowned 10 winners including fan-favorites Nancy Birtwhistle and Nadiya Hussain. The latter baking champion, 35, even had a chance to cook alongside Prince William and Duchess Kate in December 2019 as part of a televised Christmas special, and she reportedly has a new show with Queer Eye‘s Tan France in the works.