Inside Great British Bake Off's filming bubble as Matt Lucas gives behind-the-scenes tour of 'safest place in Britain'
MATT Lucas has given fans a behind-the-scenes tour of The Great British Bake Off's filming bubble.
The popular Channel 4 show returned to our screens last month, and it's strict coronavirus measures previously earned it the title of "the safest place in Britain".
During filming, all of the cast and crew quarantined together for six weeks, living in a self-contained biosphere so they did not have to socially distance.
The hosts, judges, contestants, and crew stayed on the grounds of Down Hall in Essex, and new presenter Matt has now shown viewers what there is beyond the Bake Off tent.
In a clip from sister programme Extra Slice, the comic gives a glimpse of the production village – whose health and safety measures include access to antibacterial hand gel and temperature checks.
This is also where staff prepare the bakers' ingredients before filming starts.
Matt, his co-host Noel Fielding, judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood also have their own space close to the tent for when they take a break from filming.
The individual cabins are called "shepherd's huts", with Matt revealing the inside of his to have chic white wood walls, a comfortable bed to relax on that is covered in fluffy cushions, as well as flowers and incense.
Just outside there are two port-a-loos so that the stars don't have to traipse back to the main building if nature calls while shooting.
Matt later caught up with Paul indoors, showing off a lavish room full of armchairs.
Floor-to-ceiling windows let in plenty of natural light, with floral curtains and fluffy carpets adding a cosy feel to the space.
Before filming, the cast and crew were told to self-isolate for nine days and had to take three COVID-19 tests before being allowed exclusive entry into the Down Hall hotel.
The cast were allowed to bring their partners and children to stay with them at the hotel while they were filming.
There were also 80 members of the production team, 20 hotel staff, and around 20 other helpers isolating at the venue during the shoot.
Crew had to build 12 practice kitchens for the bakers to use on their days off, and the "gruelling" schedule saw the team work on a two days on, two days off basis.
Discussing the set-up, the creative director of Bake Off's production company Love Productions, Kieran Smith, said that there was only one coronavirus scare over the six weeks, and it was thankfully a false alarm.
He added: "It was a massive operation, it felt like the safest place in Britain."
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