Junior Bake Off host Harry Hill: ‘My kids told me to do it!’

Liam Charles, Prue Leith and Harry Hill in Junior Bake Off
Liam Charles, Prue Leith and Harry Hill in Junior Bake Off

Harry Hill on why he listened to his daughters when he was offered the chance to present Junior Bake Off

Harry Hill is preparing himself to utter the immortal words, ‘On Your Marks, Get Set, Bake!’ as he heads into TV’s most famous tent to host Junior Bake Off.

The series last aired three years ago on CBBC but now it’s back with a bang on C4 as 20 budding bakers aged between nine and 15 try to impress the judges – Bake Off stalwart Prue Leith and Bake Off: The Professionals host and former Bake Off contestant Liam Charles.

Here Harry Hill reveals all about stepping into the heat of the kitchen to present Junior Bake Off...

What appealed to you about hosting Junior Bake Off?

“My kids [Kitty, 22, Winifred, 21 and Frederica, 15] told me to do it. They’re big fans of the main show and these days I just run things past them! That was the reason I did Celebrity Bake Off [Harry was Star Baker last year], because they were such fans. Doing that was a lot of fun though and I really liked one of the judges – Prue!”

How would your kids rate your baking?

“I don’t think they’ve ever tasted it! But on Junior Bake Off it was great having two experts at hand in Prue and Liam. I’d often ask them things like, ‘What’s a crème diplomat?’”

Prue Leith, Harry Hill and Liam Charles in Junior Bake Off

Prue Leith, Harry Hill and Liam Charles in Junior Bake Off (Image credit: C4)

What were Prue and Liam like to work with?

“They were great because they always laughed at my jokes, even on the third time of hearing! And Liam and I did a few little gags together - he’s a natural comic.”

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Did you have fun with the young bakers?

“I spent my time trying to make them laugh! And a couple really made me laugh. I was nervous though because I had to ask them about stuff I don’t know anything about and previously I’d always worked with a script. But I got a lot out of it as well. Although I am the idiot in the equation, so I played up to that!”

The contestants in the first heat of Junior Bake Off

The budding bakers from the first heat of Junior Bake Off

Was it hard when the children didn't get through to the next round?

"That was the part I didn’t like. That’s why I don’t do these sort of shows normally, it’s that thing of having to say, ‘You’re going home’. It was horrible, particularly because I didn’t have any choice about who was going home."

Finally, but most importantly, did you get to eat much cake in the tent?!

“I’m not included in the tastings - it’s a bit of a bone of contention! I’d have to stand there watching Prue and Liam working their way down ten Viennese whirls and I’d get a few scraps at the end. But there was some lovely food. I even got the recipe for Viennese whirls, but I haven’t got round to making them!”

Junior Bake Off airs every weekday from Monday 4 November at 5pm on C4

Caren Clark

Caren has been a journalist specializing in TV for almost two decades and is a Senior Features Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV magazines and she also writes for What to Watch.

Over the years, she has spent many a day in a muddy field or an on-set catering bus chatting to numerous stars on location including the likes of Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Suranne Jones, Jamie Dornan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi as well as Hollywood actors such as Glenn Close and Kiefer Sutherland.

Caren will happily sit down and watch any kind of telly (well, maybe not sci-fi!), but she particularly loves period dramas like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Crown and she’s also a big fan of juicy crime thrillers from Line of Duty to Poirot.

In her spare time, Caren enjoys going to the cinema and theatre or curling up with a good book.