The Great British Bake Off series 14 spoilers follow.
The Great British Bake Off is getting rid of national theme weeks for its 14th series.
The Channel 4 baking competition has gotten in trouble in previous years for dedicating weekly themes to specific countries, as viewers have felt these themes can veer into cultural appropriation.
Another major complaint is that these theme weeks can reduce a national culture down to stereotypes, like in recent Mexican and Japanese-themed Bake Off episodes.
In an interview with The Guardian ahead of Bake Off‘s series 14 premiere, producer Kieran Smith attempted to draw a definitive line under some of the mistakes of the past.
“I hold my hands up to the cooking complaint and the theme weeks,” Smith said. “We didn’t want to offend anyone but the world has changed and the joke fell flat. We’re not doing any national themes this year.”
Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood has made similar comments in the past, and acknowledged that some of the national theme weeks were created due to his frequent travelling.
“There’s not a bad bone in any of the bodies of anyone connected with Bake Off that would want to upset Mexico. And certainly not me, because I love the country,” he told Eater last year.
Aside from this major change to the Bake Off format, Kieran Smith insisted that the show would go back to basics following some complaints about the way it has changed in recent years.
“We’re going very traditional,” Smith said. “We’re doing all the regular weeks: Cakes, Biscuits, Bread, Patisserie, Chocolate, plus Party Cakes is a new theme. No spoilers, but it features challenges I think viewers will love.”
Judge Paul Hollywood added that the creative team have developed the challenges for this series “very carefully” to ensure they appeal to a wider array of audiences.
“In a way, we’ve returned to the philosophy of the first three series. There are some beautiful classic ones and they’ve been a big success,” he said.
Another big change for the 14th series will be the addition of This Morning‘s Alison Hammond as a co-host alongside Noel Fielding, after Matt Lucas decided to leave the show last year.
The Great British Bake Off airs on Channel 4 in the UK. In the US, it’s known as The Great British Baking Show, and streams on Netflix.
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