Great British Baking Show Rules You Probably Didn't Know About

Fans of the Great British Baking Show have probably taken notice of some peculiarities of the show such as the contestants wearing the same clothes for two days of baking. But there are actually a lot more rules that you probably don't know. The long list of rules starts early with the application process.

Potential contestants must apply online. According to former competitor Sophie Faldo, the application is seven pages long. "Every section, like bread and cakes, and biscuits, has its own page and you have to say what your signature bake is and how often you bake it," she said to Radio Times. Those applying must be a resident of the UK and at least 16 years old. There's a background check, a release form to sign, and restrictions against professional bakers and those with connections to the network, too (via Delish).

Those who pass then have phone and in-person interviews where they have to bring two bakes. Everything up to the show is out-of-pocket, so they have to pay for the ingredients they need to make their interview bakes. The final interview is actually baking on-camera.

Producers contact those accepted by March, but it's last-minute when they're notified. They have to be available for all weekend-long filming dates, and no phones or cameras are allowed. Some of the production must be kept confidential. Contestants also have to commit to filming an interview for The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice after they are eliminated.

The rules for the Great British Baking Show don't end there

There is also no money involved with being on the show including the price. However, those on the show are given an episode allowance for ingredients. Everyone stays in the same hotel with 5 a.m. wake up calls and 7 a.m. arrival at the tent. The ovens are checked daily by cooking a Victoria sponge cake. When bakers are actually competing, they have to tell a producer before removing their bake from the oven to capture the moment on camera.

It isn't all hard work though. The show's chief home economist, Faenia Moore, does the ingredient shopping every week. "I filter through recipes and compile a list of ingredients a week before each episode is filmed, then I do a massive shop," said Moore to BBC Good Food. "People normally have 12 to 20 ingredients, but it varies — Frances Quinn had 124 for her cake in the final." They also have a dishwashing crew.

Otherwise, contestants don't get help and have to adapt to the weather. They're required to wait at their station until judging after which there's a mandatory interview. The bakes must get a close-up shot, then they have to patiently wait as the judges debate. Contestants are only judged on each day's dish, and the bakers and crew get the leftovers. The contestants can't, however, socialize with the judges in order to keep things professional.

While U.S. citizens can't compete, you can recreate the show at home now that you know many of the rules.