Great British Menu Season 18 Episode 26 Description
It’s national finals week on Great British Menu, where the winners from the regional heats compete to earn a place on the menu of a spectacular banquet celebrating animation and illustration for Paddington’s 65th birthday.
Each episode sees the eight rivals compete over a different course, from starter through to dessert, where they will be marked out of ten by an expert judging panel which, each episode, features a different well-known guest judge.
This time, it’s Peter Lord, legendary animator and co-founder of Aardman Animations. The chefs cook their fish courses for him in a bid to secure a place on the menu at the banquet.
Episode 01 | Episode 02 | Episode 03 | Episode 04 | Episode 05 | Episode 06 | Episode 07 | Episode 08 | Episode 09 | Episode 10 | Episode 11 | Episode 12 | Episode 13 | Episode 14 | Episode 15 | Episode 16 | Episode 17 | Episode 18 | Episode 19 | Episode 20 | Episode 21 | Episode 22 | Episode 23 | Episode 24 | Episode 25 | Episode 26 | Episode 27 | Episode 28 | Episode 29
Great British Menu Show Summary
Series one and two were presented by Jennie Bond, the former BBC Royal correspondent, whereby each week, two chefs from a region of the UK create a menu. In series three and four, both narrated by Bond but with no presenter, three chefs from a region of the UK create a menu; only the two with the best scores went through to the Friday judging. In series five and six, the fifth narrated by Bond while the sixth is narrated by Wendy Lloyd, three chefs from a region of the UK create a menu, with in kitchen judging undertaken by a past contestant chef; only the two with the best scores go through to the Friday judging.
In each series, the Friday show is when chefs present all courses of their menu to a judging panel, tasted and judged by Matthew Fort, Prue Leith and Oliver Peyton. One chef each week goes through to the final, where the judges taste the dishes again and award them marks out of ten.
In the first and second series, the three dishes that have scored the highest for each course of the finals are then shortlisted for public vote via televoting. In the third and fourth series, the shortlisting rule was dropped, so all dishes scored by the judges are then sent to the public vote. Judges’ scores represent one half of the overall score, and public vote represents the other half. The Guardian critic Karina Mantavia in May 2007 criticised the public vote system as incompatible to food that viewers could see onscreen but not taste in-person.
Starting from the fifth series, a fourth judge, usually either a veteran chef or a guest related to a brief, is introduced, replacing public vote. Since the eight series, the fourth judge addition extends to regional heats.
Up until series six, the finalists can replace only one course dish of their own menus with a newer one. They can adjust or tweak other dishes but cannot completely change them.
On 28 October 2016, it was confirmed that Prue Leith was leaving the show and would be replaced by Andi Oliver for series 12 in 2017.
On 1 October 2019, Susan Calman was announced as the new presenter for series 15. Filming took place in Stratford-upon-Avon and was completed in November 2019. The show was broadcast in spring 2020. For Christmas 2020 special series and thereafter, Andi Oliver stepped down as a judge and has replaced Calman as the presenter.
On 7 February 2021, it was announced that Rachel Khoo would be joining as a new judge when the series returns in spring 2021.
On 6 September 2021, it was announced that the whole judging panel would be changed with Matthew Fort and Oliver Payton leaving after being on the show since the beginning and Rachel Khoo after one series. The new judging panel will consist of former GBM champion Tom Kerridge, chef and restaurateur Nisha Katona and comedian and food podcaster Ed Gamble.