The Great British Bake Off's judges and hosts are isolating in a luxury hotel ahead of the new series.

Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith

Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith

Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Noel Fielding, and Matt Lucas have set up camp in Down Hall Hotel & Spa in Hertfordshire to bubble up together before filming starts on the new series in July.

A TV insider said: “Although many of the rules and regulations that made filming difficult are now easing, the producers of the show wanted to be extra cautious.

“Lockdown is still set to fully lift next month, but changing events could mean that doesn’t happen, or restrictions that have recently eased could be brought back into force. But this covers them for any eventuality — it also means they’ll enjoy a rather nice retreat too.”

The hotel boasts 98 grand suites and elegant rooms that have all been individually designed and have stunning views of the landscaped gardens, where the 'Bake Off' tent will be set up.

Matt, who co-hosts the show alongside Noel, previously revealed everyone working on the programme will bubble up to enable them to get around coronavirus pandemic restrictions - after the show created a "self-contained biosphere" between the cast and crew last year to ensure shooting could go ahead.

Bubbling up ahead of filming series 12 will also allow judges Prue and Paul to taste the contestants' creations, and Paul will be able to dish out his famous Hollywood Handshakes.

Matt said: "We're starting very soon. And like last year, we're going into a bubble.

"We are all self-isolating and getting tested, and then we're going into a COVID-free bubble so we can all taste each other's bakes and there can be handshakes, and all sorts.

"I've seen video clips of all the new bakers, and there are some brilliant ones in there."