Comedians Claire Hooper and Mel Buttle have been confirmed as the hosts of Foxtel’s inspiring new series The Great Australian Bake Off, joining judges Maggie Beer and Matt Moran in this locally produced version of the hit UK format.
Produced by FremantleMedia Australia exclusively for Foxtel, THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN BAKE OFF will see 12 home baking enthusiasts put through a series of gruelling elimination challenges, baking a mouth-watering selection of cakes, pies, tarts, pastries, bread, biscuits and desserts, all in the hope of being crowned Australia's Best Home Baker.
The 10-part series has just started production in Sydney and will air on LifeStyle FOOD later this year.
Claire Hooper is best known for her role as a Team Captain on Network TEN’s Good News Week, but for comedy fans it is her inventive, skilful and engaging stage shows that set her apart. She has written and performed in numerous solo shows around the country, and has appeared on Ten’s Rove Live, ABC’s The Sideshow, The Comedy Channel’s Stand Up! Australia and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s Great Debate with Stephen K Amos and Greg Fleet. She is an established author and has also written, directed and performed in a number of theatre shows.
Claire said: “This job is two dreams come true for me. To be on the right side of the camera for tasting the bakes, and to co-host with a funny friend. Mel and I have never worked together before but she's one of my absolute favourite comics and I don't mind at all if she ends up making better baking puns than me on camera. My mouth will be full anyway.
“My enthusiasm for this gig will make up for my actual baking experience level, which is just above beginner and only because I once had a bun in the oven,” she said.
Claire Hooper and Mel Buttle
Mel Buttle is no stranger to comedy accolades since her win for Director’s Choice Award at the 2012 Melbourne Comedy Festival. She has toured extensively throughout Australia, appearing at major capital city Comedy Festivals, visiting the regions on the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow and supporting Wil Anderson on tour. An established writer, Mel is also the author of a weekly column for Brisbane’s Courier Mail newspaper, she has regular guest radio spots, and television credits include Ten’s The Project and The Circle, ABC TV’s Backseat Drivers and It’s A Date and The Stand Up Series for Foxtel’s The Comedy Channel. Her hit twitter feed boasts over 12,500 followers.
Mel said: “I can't believe I got the job! I have no hospitality or restaurant experience at all; however I did spent most afternoons during my uni days watching Ready Steady Cook and Huey's Cooking Adventures. I think those afternoons have just paid for themselves.
“I'm such a fan of both Matt and Maggie; I am going to need a stiff drink of verjuice to calm my nerves when I meet them both. And I'm over the moon about finally getting to work with the lovely Claire Hooper, she was one of the big names in comedy when I started out and it's very exciting to be on Bake Off with her. We're good friends and I hope that comes across on air, obviously I want my own trailer though, that goes without saying,” she said.
THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN BAKE OFF will premiere exclusively on Foxtel’s LifeStyle FOOD later this year.