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Bake Off betting: The recipe for success

| 12.09.2021

Bake Off betting tips and analysis

The Great British Bake Off starts tonight but what are the ingredients needed to win one of the most popular programmes on TV?

We’ve crunched the numbers to highlight some of the elements that have featured among the winners throughout the years to help with your Bake Off betting.

What is the recipe for success in the Great British Bake Off?

Ahead of the 12th series of the Great British Bake Off this autumn, we’ve analysed every contestant in the show’s history to work out what type of baker is most likely to win the competition. In every series to date there have been three bakers in the final, so we’ve also looked at what it takes to reach this stage.

How old have the Great British Bake Off winners been?

Competitive baking appears to be a young person’s game, with nine of the 11 winners to date being under 40. Last year’s winner Peter Sawkins was just 20 years old and the youngest winner to date.

Experience also counts for little in reaching the final, with 17 of the 22 runners-up to date also being under 40 at the time.

Where have the Great British Bake Off winners come from?

If Britain has a baking capital then it is probably in Yorkshire. The Yorkshire and Humber region has produced five of the 11 winners so far, with no other part of the UK supplying more than two.

In fact, the only time that a contestant from Yorkshire reached the final and didn’t win was in series nine, when Kim-Joy was defeated by another Yorkshire baker in Rahul. Only one winner has hailed from the South of the UK: series eight winner Sophie was from Surrey.

Do you need to win Star Baker?

In series 10, David Atherton became the first winner never to be named Star Baker. However in general, more Star Baker awards unsurprisingly increase your chances of winning the series. Since the award was introduced in series two, five of the other nine winners were named Star Baker on multiple occasions.

Star Baker wins also correlate pretty powerfully with reaching the final, with each award effectively bumping your chances by roughly one in three. All eight bakers to have been named Star Baker at least three times have gone all the way.

Besides David in series 10, only one other person has ever reached the final without being named Star Baker: Mary-Anne Boermans in series two.

Do you need to win the technical challenges?

All 11 series to date have featured a ‘technical challenge’ in every episode – set by one of the judges – and nobody has ever won the series without finishing first in at least one of them.

Three of the last four winners – Sophie, David and Peter – won at least two technical challenges each. It’s also incredibly rare to reach the final without nailing a technical challenge – only four bakers out of the 67 never to win one have gotten that far.

Which episode do you need to do well in?

Ever since series three, the show has consisted of 10 episodes including a semi-final and a final. Apart from the semi-final, only one episode – the second – has seen every single Star Baker go on to reach the final, so bakers need to start shining early.

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Even episode eight – when there are usually only five bakers remaining – has seen two Star Bakers eliminated at the semi-final stage. Winning Star Baker in the sixth episode is something of a curse, with six of the nine contestants to do so being eliminated before the final.

It pays to impress the judges early on

The current 10-episode format has been used since series three and only two of the nine winners in this period didn’t claim Star Baker at least once in the first half of the series.

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Apart from David’s aforementioned series 10 win, Frances Quinn triumphed in series four despite waiting until episode seven to be named Star Baker for the first time.

What type of bakes should you practice?

New contestants won’t have time to practice everything to perfection before entering the tent, so what types of baking should they prioritise?

There are three episode themes which have been used in every series so far and tend to appear towards the start: cake, biscuits and bread. There are two more themes which have been used in nine of the 11 series to date, including all of the last three: pastry and desserts.

Of these five, pastry appears to be the most important with four of the nine series winners who competed in this episode bagging either the Star Baker award or finishing first in the technical challenge.

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However those who ace the desserts and bread episodes rarely triumph, so these appear to be themes where a mediocre performance is survivable.

Good first impressions aren’t everything

A winning start to a baker’s spell in the tent is not all that important.. In all but one of the 11 series to date, at least one of the eventual finalists finished in the bottom five during the first technical challenge.

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Therefore you shouldn’t write anyone off if they have a bad start, which series six illustrates in particular. Nadiya Hussein – arguably the most successful Bake Off contestant of all-time – finished last in her first technical challenge but went on to come top in four others and claim three Star Baker awards on her way to winning the series.

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All odds and markets correct as of date of publication

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Author

Warren Barner