The new series of The Great British Bake Off will be ‘something a bit special’, judge Paul Hollywood has revealed.
The master baker spoke exclusively to Ellen Beardmore before his visit to the region for Chatsworth Country Fair at the end of the month, also to feature former fellow judge Mary Berry, and contestant Nadiya Hussain .
Teaser adverts for the new series have begun, with an expected launch date of late summer.
Paul told the Telegraph: “It’s something a bit special this year.
“I think the contestants are amazing. I think everybody will be very surprised.”
There has been a Sheffield contestant in the bake off before, Howard Middleton.
Paul confirmed that there were ‘ a few northern contestants in there’ this year.
He added: “Sometimes it is to do with the quality of the bake and sometimes it is to with the diversity of the flavour - this year we’ve managed to do both.
“I gave out a lot of handshakes this year which I was a bit upset about. It’s not that I wanted to, but I had to.”
Fans can expect some ‘tough’ challenges this year, with ideas curated by Paul on his travels around the world for another TV series, called City Bakes.
And at Chatsworth he plans to show fans two of his favourites, an enriched chocolate cake and a pea and pancetta tart.
He added: “I’ve always been a teacher in one form or another so demonstrations are a natural progression. At Chatsworth there is such an amazing atmosphere with the Red Arrows flying past, you just think ‘what?!’.”
On the growing appeal of baking and baking shows, he added: “I don’t think people will ever get bored of it - we’ve been doing it for thousands of years.”
Chatsworth Country Fair starts on August 31.
For tickets visit chatsworth.org