The Great South African Bake Off
The Presenters: Anne Hirsch and Donovan Goliath

BBC Lifestyle this week announced its judge and presenter line-up for new local commission The Great South African Bake Off. The series, which will search for the nation’s best amateur baker, will be judged by renowned chefs Shirley Guy and Tjaart Walraven and presented by comedians Anne Hirsch and Donovan Goliath.

The Great South African Bake Off
The Great South African Bake Off Presenters: Anne Hirsch and Donovan Goliath

The ten-part series is produced by Rapid Blue and will air on BBC Lifestyle, DStv channel 174, this October.

Rapid Blue co-owner Kee-Leen Irvine told SAPeople that her team “is over the moon to be producing the Great South African Bake Off for BBC. Being a huge fan of both Anne Hirsch and Donovan Goliath, (one of my Strictly Come Dancing contestants from 2014), I am thrilled to have them present the show and they have taken to their task like ducks to water.

“We just have to ensure they don’t sample too much during the competition otherwise those gorgeous lean physiques will be a thing of the past!”


Award-winning comedian Anne Hirsch has three one-woman shows under her belt and hosts a popular (and funny) YouTube programme, The Anne Hirsch Show. Comic Donovan Goliath has performed at festivals all over the country.

According to Kee-Leen judges Shirley (an established chef, baker, food stylist and cookery author) and Tjaart (whose baking experience includes working with world famous chef Raymond Blanc) are experts in their field, and the contestants are a “fabulous mix of people” from Johannesburg and Cape Town.

“There’s such a deliciously diverse range of skill and tradition from South Africa’s multi-cultural rainbow nation to showcase!

“Bake-Off is the type of show we love best – inspiring, warm and a glorious celebration of both talent and passion.”

The Great South African Bake Off
The Great South African Bake Off Judges: Shirley Guy and Tjaart Walraven

Julie Swanston, VP of Commissioning at BBC Worldwide and executive producer for the series, says: “It was a difficult task choosing just twelve contestants from such a strong pool of local talent. But we’re confident we’ve selected the very best and I can’t wait for our South African viewers to be inspired by the show.”

The Great British Bake Off was originally launched in the UK in 2010 and has proved incredibly popular in the UK with millions of viewers. It is currently in its sixth season. (Today the show was embroiled in controversy after all betting was suspended due to a suspicion that the winner’s name has been leaked.)

THE GREAT SOUTH AFRICAN BAKE OFF PRESENTERS

ANNE HIRSCH: Comedian and stand-up performer Anne has three one-woman shows under her belt and in 2013 won Glamour Magazine’s Woman of the Year award in the ‘Next Big Thing’ category. She is also host of the popular YouTube programme, The Anne Hirsch Show.

DONOVAN GOLIATH: Comic Donovan has performed at festivals all over the country including the Soweto Comedy Festival, 99% Zulu, Jou Ma Se Comedy and the Mzansi Fela Festival. He’s received two nominations at the Comedy Choice Awards for ‘Newcomer of the Year’ (2012) and ‘Blackberry Breakthrough Act’ (2013). Born in the Eastern Cape, Donovan left his job in advertising for a full time career in comedy.

THE GREAT SOUTH AFRICAN BAKE OFF JUDGES

SHIRLEY GUY: Shirley is an established chef, baker, food stylist and cookery author with more than thirty years’ experience. Writer of twelve cookbooks, including The Barbeque Kettle Cookbook, she also set up her own South African cookery school, the Dough Hook. Over the course of her career she has run baking classes for pastry work, breads, grand desserts and chocolate. Shirley was trained at the esteemed Cordon Bleu School in London and La Varenne in Paris.

TJAART WALRAVEN: Chef Tjaart’s extensive baking experience includes working with Raymond Blanc in the pastry kitchen at Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, and at The Raymond Blanc Cookery School under the directorship of Michelin-trained chef Stephen Bulmer. Tjaart has worked as a personal chef to celebrities and has a strong command in Showstopper desserts. Tjaart is now the Director of Food Template, a consultancy business offering a range of restaurant, hospitality and training services.