What Working On The Great British Baking Show Is Really Like, According To Noel Fielding

Anyone who has seen The Great British Baking Show knows that Noel Fielding is a non-negotiable staple in the series at this point — but being a host on the family-friendly show wasn't actually ever part of his career plan. The New York Times describes the English comedian as "Britain's most charming goth; a poster boy for weirdos everywhere, thanks to his show 'The Mighty Boosh'; an indie darling who wore capes makeup, and sequins."

So, when Fielding traded in his typically-crude jokes for some seriously dialed-down baking commentary in 2017, viewers and tabloids had some criticism (via Twitter); meanwhile, Fielding and his former co-host Sandi Toksvig feared they might ruin such a reputable, family-friendly show. Fortunately, that wasn't the case. The New York Times noted that, with the addition of Fielding and Toksvig for season eight, The Great British Baking Show became a little more absurd and a little more innuendo-heavy, but that "the producers make sure it all falls within the show's safe, comfortable world."

What it's like on set for Noel Fielding

Regardless of how he got there (and the fact that he didn't have any prior baking experience), Noel Fielding has made a name for himself in the baking world. There are even articles dedicated to ranking the comedian's colorful, eccentric outfits that he wears on the show (via Mel). Fielding told The New York Times that the show is very structured (especially compared to his previous work) and it's the "realest job [he's] ever had." However, working on The Great British Baking Show meant appealing to a different audience — one that's very different from what Fielding was used to on comedy show The Mighty Boosh. Evidently, adjusting wasn't an issue. "You can't push your vision onto something that already has a tone," he told The New York Times in reference to respecting the way GBBO was already being run. "You have to respect the tone."

In addition to adjusting to appeal to a different audience, Noel Fielding notes that the show has pushed him to follow a more structured career lifestyle — one that's filmed in a single tent. He notes that it's easy to feel "a bit stir crazy" in the tent. "Day after day, little on the show changes besides the faces behind the stations," The New York Times says. "Talking to the contestants is his favorite part of the job ... he sees his role as part therapist, part friend, and part clown, keeping things loose and comforting bakers when cakes collapse and ganaches stay dull."