The Channel 4 show was due to go into production next month in its famous tent at Welford Park in Newbury, but producers want to make sure that the presenters, bakers and crew are safe to film.
A Love Productions spokeswoman said: “We continue to monitor the situation and follow the advice of Public Health England and we will delay filming on Bake Off until it is safe to proceed.”
The Sky-owned production company has not put a timeframe on the delay. Matt Lucas, who is joining the presenting team replacing Sandi Toksvig for the new season, told BBC Radio 2 on Friday that he suspected it would be “a bit delayed,” suggesting that there is hope that production can get underway within weeks rather than months.
It is not clear if a delay in production will result in a delay in transmission. Bake Off is filmed between April and July, with Channel 4 not usually premiering the show until the final Tuesday in August. In theory, that means a short delay might not have a big impact on Channel 4’s scheduling plans.
Bake Off streams on Netflix in the U.S. the same week it broadcasts in the UK. The show is known as The Great British Baking Show in America and has a cult following.
It is one of countless British productions to be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Other shows, including Celebrity Race Across The World, have had to push back filming, while live production on other programs, like Sky drama Britannia, has been shut down.