Are 'The Great British Bake Off' Contestants Paid? Sandi Toksvig Has Raised Some Concerns
There are so many behind-the-scenes details I want to know about when it comes to The Great British Bake Off. Namely, how do they make it so every chocolate challenge falls on the hottest day of the year, and how many tubs of hair gel do they have on standby for Paul? And I haven't even got to the contestants yet. They must spend an awful lot on ingredients; testing recipes, maybe testing them again, and then making their final dishes on the show. But are The Great British Bake Off contestants paid? Because it looks like taking part could get quite expensive.
"You got a little bit of expenses paid for, but it's still expensive," former contestant Frances Quinn told Cosmopolitan. Despite not getting any other form of payment, the bakers are expected to film for up to "up to 13 hours a day," according to Quinn, and it can all get quite exhausting.
During an interview with the Radio Times from August 2017, Bake Off presenter Sandi Toksvig brought up an issue "that’s not something that gets talked about" with regards to contestants and pay. "To some of them [the contestants], just buying the ingredients to practise at home has pushed them to the limit in terms of their finances."
And even the winner isn't compensated. There's no cash prize or pot of gold at the end, just a sense of pride and a low bank balance. Actually, to be more accurate, "The baker who emerges victorious from the tent is then handed some flowers and a cake stand. That’s their prize to take away," the Mirror reported.
I contacted Channel 4 for comment, however, a spokesperson is yet to get back to me. When they do though, you'll be the first to know about it.
While Bake Off contestants aren't paid for taking part in the series, there's certainly a cow to be milked for the memorable bakers from each series. The first ever Bake Off winner, Edd Kimber, made £150,000 with his debut book The Boy Who Bakes, and his next two books made £100,000 a piece, The Mirror estimates. And who knows when the next Nadiya Hussain might come around? She's what the Mirror have called "a million dollar success" — and I imagine that's a pretty accurate title. Still, Bake Off is really what you make of it. Once you've taken part in a show like this, the possibilities really are endless.
While the contestants aren't given a fee, the judges and presenters are paid pretty handsomely. In fact, they've been given a big pay rise ever since the show moved from the BBC to Channel Four.
Metro reported earlier in September that Paul Hollywood's paycheque allegedly rose from £100,000 per series to £400,000 following the move. And yes — thank goodness — the women on the show get the same as the men. "Noel and I have complete parity. We're open and transparent about everything, which is the best way to avoid problems," presenter Toksvig confirmed in an interview alongside Noel Fielding with the Mirror.
Glad to hear there's no gender pay gap on Bake Off. Other shows, take note.