The Nine Network today announced Shane Jacobson and Anna Gare as hosts of The Great Australian Bake Off, with Dan Lepard and Kerry Vincent joining them as judges in the search to find Australia’s Best Home Baker.
The ultimate kitchen battle is set to erupt when Nine serves up this brand new TV dish in 2013. Ten home baking enthusiasts will be put through a series of gruelling elimination challenges, baking a mouth-watering selection of cakes, pies, tarts, pastries, bread, biscuits and desserts, all in the hope of being crowned Australia’s Best Home Baker.
The franchise began on the BBC TWO in 2010, the UK format is a ratings phenomenon with its series three finale last night drawing its highest ever peak audience of 7.2 million and attracting a record-breaking average of 6.5 million viewers.
The US Network CBS has also just announced it will commission a full American series. The franchise created by Love Productions and distributed by BBC Worldwide has been adapted in Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Poland, Ireland, Norway and France.
Programming Production Executive Courtney Gibson said: “It’s time to get your scone on, folks! The Great Australian Bake Off will bring together the country’s most imaginative and accomplished home bakers to dish up amazing treats for two judges they will really want to impress. Featuring famous Aussie treats as well as epic new bakes, this is a show that will have the whole country shouting, Mum, can I lick the beater?”
The versatile Shane Jacobson, one of Australia’s favourite personalities, will co-host the new series with Anna Gare, a home cook extraordinaire who has become one of Australia’s favourite TV chefs.
Shane Jacobson says: “I love spending time in the kitchen at home but to get a chance to work with professionals around an oven is something that thrills me greatly. I am delighted to be working with Anna Gare. Not only is she a whiz at cooking and baking but her charming, relaxed nature makes her a joy to be around. Not to mention the fact that I intend to steal a few of her baking ideas to try at home, in the name of research of course.”
Co-host Anna Gare says: “I’m thrilled to join the search for Australia’s Best Home Baker. To be working alongside Shane and two of the world’s finest baking professionals is a special treat for me. I’m tipping Australians will be spending a lot more time in the kitchen once they feast their eyes on the goodies our contestants serve up.”
Dan Lepard is the Australian baker based in the UK who’s at the vanguard of the contemporary baking movement. He is the baking correspondent for The Guardian and The Observer, author of best-selling baking bibles such as Short and Sweet and The Handmade Loaf, and he will be returning to his home state of Victoria to judge The Great Australian Bake Off. His approach is all about getting the utmost from the simplest ingredients.
Dan Lepard says: “Baking under a stopwatch is never easy, and with that title of best Aussie baker at stake they’ll all be trying to whip up perfection to grab it. Australia is the home of some really outstanding baking and I’m looking forward to some spectacular attempts to impress us judges. May the best baker win.”
Lepard’s co-judge is fellow Australian Kerry Vincent, who is known for revolutionising the wedding cake industry in the USA and is nicknamed “the Simon Cowell of Cake” in her role as judge on American television’s Food Network. She creates cakes that have to be seen to be believed.
Kerry, founder of the Grand National Wedding Cake Competition and co-founder of the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show, grew up on a farm in Western Australia and won her first Country Women’s Association baking competition at the age of eight. She moved to Tulsa when she married an Oklahoma engineer 38 years ago and brought her Aussie baking flair and exquisite sugar artistry to the world of American cakes.
Kerry Vincent says: “Australia will set the tone with a new entourage of emerging characters and contestants that I hope the audience will come to love and admire, while they empathise with the drama, challenges and my own tough-love approach. Being invited to judge The Great Australian Bake Off in my homeland is beyond a dream come true.”
Production on the new series will commence mid-November in the gardens of historic Werribee Park Mansion in Victoria.