What the contestants on the Great British Bake Off get paid is surprisingly little considering the show’s immense popularity.
The Great British Bake Off changed the way the world thinks about baking competitions. The low-drama, feel-good competition is unlike any other of its kind on television. Viewers would think that contestants would receive a hefty sum due to the show’s success. But, the amount the bakers are paid may surprise you.
Shows like Master Chef, Hell’s Kitchen and Top Chef often bring profanity-laden drama. And many Food Network competition shows have their own share of production-induced drama and cutthroat competitiveness that viewers can’t seem to get enough of.
So, what’s the draw for The Great British Bake Off? For viewers it’s all about the camaraderie of the bakers and the light-hearted feel of the show. There’s a reason many people claim that the show served as a de-stressor during the pandemic. Each episode provided us with a brief respite from the chaos surrounding us.
Do Great British Bake Off contestants get paid anything?
While the appeal for viewers is easy to understand, the appeal for wannabe contestants may seem more questionable. After all…Great British Bake Off winners aren’t paid a dime, but walk away with bragging rights, a cake plate and a gorgeous bouquet of flowers. That’s it. No cash prize. No cookbook deal or promise of a successful baking career. The same goes for bakers on the show’s Great American Baking Show spin-off.
For the bakers who actually make it to the tent, it’s a huge feat. It has been reported that more than 12,000 hopefuls apply every season. That means that making the cut is nearly as admirable as winning the show itself.
2017 champ Sophie Faldo shared that contestants have to pay for their own ingredients during the audition process. But, production makes up for it by giving bakers an “allowance” if they make it to the tent.
“You’re essentially given expenses,” Sophie shared. “You’re given an allowance for however many shows you do to source the ingredients.”
2014 series quarter-finalist Martha Collison told Barrelhouse: “Everyone is so surprised, and thinks there must be some secret cash, but all we really get is a bunch of flowers and a cake stand. But then, you also kind of become a national treasure just by doing it, because everyone in Britain loves the Bake Off so much.”
Financially speaking, the cast might break even if they’re lucky. But, the experience itself is priceless and one that we doubt any would trade for a fat check.
What do the judges and hosts get paid?
While the Great British Bake Off contestants aren’t paid for their appearance on the show, the judges and hosts get to enjoy the fruits of the show’s success.
The salaries of judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith haven’t been confirmed. But, it has been reported that Hollywood signed a three-year deal worth $1.5 million dollars when The Great British Bake Off moved from the BBC to Channel 4. That’s quadruple what he was paid at the BBC!
That contract has since expired, so it’s likely that he now makes significantly more with a new contract.
Reports suggest that Prue Leith’s salary is in the ballpark of $225,000 a series. That is three times more than Mary Berry made during her years as judge.
The Sun reports that host Noel Fielding receives the same salary as Prue, meaning that his fellow host Matt Lucas likely receives the same.