A Mixture of Comedy and Emotional Stories Proved to be GBBO’s Recipe for Success

Raising awareness and money for Stand Up to Cancer, a host of famous faces entered the Bake Off Tent over the past five weeks, with mixed results. Taking a look at social engagement across the series, quotable one-liners and relatable baking faux-pas spurred Twitter conversations as much as the underlying message and charitable weighting. Star bakers and impressive show stoppers were not as influential in driving social around GBBO SU2C.

Alan Carr and Nick Hewer were Twitter’s Live Star Bakers

Broadcast Window Data

Directly Tagged

Generally  Mentioned

Alan Carr

1162

Nick Hewer

1890

Martin Kemp

684

Alan Carr

1196

Bill Turnbull

665

Martin Kemp

1100

The most tagged celebrity in Tweets posted during episodes was Alan Carr, whose snap-able sponge and dramatic facial expressions saw him directly mentioned almost twice as much as any other celebrity.

The celebrity that most people spoke about, rather than tagging or RTing, was Nick Hewer. Mentioned in 1.9K Tweets during the 13th March episode, Nick’s hilariously disastrous performance in the tent was instantly popular with viewers. The number of GIFS and photos in Tweets was at its highest in this episode, as people turned his errors, one-liners and unique croque-en-bouche into memes.

Bill Turnbull and Ruth Davidson, joined Alan Carr and Nick Hewer as the most discussed celebrities when looking at Tweets across the whole series.

24-7 Data

Directly Mentioned

Indirectly Mentioned

Alan Carr

1560

Ruth Davidson

4417

Ruth Davidson

1477

Nick Hewer

3204

Bill Turnbull

1275

Bill Turnbull

1651

Political conversations around the Scottish Conservative saw her discussed throughout the weeks that the show was on. Turnbull’s emotional discussion about his own journey with cancer resonated strongly with viewers, driving the second highest moment of activity across the entire run and ensuring his presence in conversations about GBBO well after his guest episode.

More Tweets didn’t mean more Impressions during this GBBO series

Each episode of the SU2C Bake Off series was the most Tweeted about UK TV Broadcast on the day of airing. Comparing the broadcasts, we saw that humour and witty jokes spurred as much activity as the heart-wrenching stories of families and individuals dealing with the impacts of cancer.


Nick Hewer’s many baking mistakes, and Martin Kemp’s attempt to bake buttercream helped the episode on 13th March receive the most Tweets for the series, and attract the most live viewers too. 

Activity around the final episode created the most Impressions, reaching 7.7M despite accumulating fewer Tweets.  This was due to the social reach of key contributors like Alan Carr, and a push from the official bake off and judges’ accounts

Top moments of Twitter activity this series:

  • Nick Hewer  consistently messing up the recipe for making Choux pastry
  • Nick Hewer presenting his countdown inspired showstopper
  • Bill Turnbull’s emotional and personal story
  • Alan Carr struggling with his rainbow cake and making a very milky cup of tea

Despite stand out moments of levity, the underlying message and intention of the series was consistent in Twitter activity.


Official hashtags around Stand Up to Cancer always topped our tables, and were well into the most used phrases across the series as a whole. Though stand out funny moments drove the highest spikes, lots of smaller peaks of Twitter activity surrounded the emotional stories, and urged other Twitter users to donate too.

Mixing together comedic moments, impressive challenges and poignant moments, Channel 4’s charity special successfully engaged its’ audience across the whole series, and was discussed in 87.8K Tweets which generated 48.7M Impressions.



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