Reading Time: 2 minutes ?Show hosts Paul Hollywood, Sandi Toksvig, Noel Fielding and Prue Leith (Photo: Channel 4)
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Great British Bake Off (GBBO) judge Paul Hollywood says he is fascinated by vegan baking.

It was recently announced that the cookery show, which features a series of baking challenges, will host a vegan week for the first time ever.

According to the judges on the pre-recorded program, they were ‘pleasantly surprised’ by the delicacies created by contestants.

‘Veganism is in’

Speaking about the new series, which will start on August 28, Paul Hollywood, who hosts GBBO along with Sandi Toksvig, Noel Fielding and Prue Leith, said: “We wanted something different and something to represent what was happening in this country. Veganism is something that seems to be growing. That’s why it is in.

“If you are a vegan or you’re thinking about it and are just worried about how it is going to change your life, watch it and see. It fascinated me, totally … shocked me as well.”

He added that the judges maintained the same strict standards when assessing the bakes, saying: “You can’t judge it and say it’s okay for vegan, it’s got to taste good, period. That’s how we judged it and we were surprised.

‘Something different’

It was revealed that GBBO would feature a vegan week earlier this Summer by The Sun, which reported a Channel 4 source said: “When Noel put forward the idea producers leapt at the chance to try something different – especially as they think it’ll appeal to younger viewers.

“While the show has a loyal fanbase, those in charge are keen to snap up a different demographic.”

It won’t be the first time the programme addresses plant-based food: in 2016 the show had a contestant – Rav Bansal – who followed a predominantly animal-free. He disappointed vegan viewers when he ditched it, saying: “I took part in a vegan challenge in 2014 which was supposed to be for two weeks, but eventually turned into six months. Although I am not a vegan now, I do have a predominantly plant-based diet.”

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle.