‘I Cry Each Time A Baker Leaves’

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  • Chloe Avery is the TV food producer for the Great British Bake Off, and she lives in London.

    ‘I’ve always been a Bake Off fan, but never thought I’d work on it. But when my friend Tallulah, the show’s Food Producer, left to spend time with her baby, I was offered the job. It’s very full-on and not remotely glamorous – there’s lots of hands-on stuff, setting up the technical side and hulking ingredients. I actually lose weight when filming because I hardly eat for two days each week.

    The show has three Story Producers – they have to ask questions. You don’t see them; we just film the bakers’ answers throughout the challenge and afterwards. There’s also a Series Producer and a Director.

    I work with Mary and Paul to decide what’s best in the mix of challenges. Baking is chemistry and you really have to know what you’re doing. Mary and Paul always know exactly why something has gone wrong with just the squeeze of a bread roll or a smell of a sponge.

    Then I work with Faenia to make sure bakers have what they need. On filming days I’m running the floor and focused mainly on the food. There’s flour flying everywhere and people running around like crazy – there’s a huge amount of stress and lots of different stories going at the same time. You never know how people will react in the pressure and heat and stress. And when we’ve stopped filming, it’s all hands on deck to scrub floors and clean dishes.

    I cry constantly throughout the series; when a baker leaves I find it very hard to control the tears – and when someone does well I cry out of happiness for them.’

    Bake off high: The final of series five, which was my first final. Seeing these three amazing bakers work so hard and putting such passion into their bakes was amazing.

    Bake off disaster: In 2014, when Martha’s tiered pies leaked – there was liquid gushing out and it seemed like an unstoppable flood!

    Bake off 2015: Now that would be telling – you’ll have to watch!

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