The Great British Bake Off has unveiled its youngest ever line-up, with half of their new contestants in their 20s.
Fashion designers, part-time waiters and students are among the ten contestants of millennial age -- the youngest is just 20.
The average age of 31, is a full four years younger than the previous series’, with experts saying bosses are keen to attract younger viewers away from streaming services like Netflix.
After two successful series on Channel 4 following its move from BBC2 in 2017, the broadcaster is keen to hold on to its young viewership.
Love Productions, the makers of the show, said they had more young people apply this year as the hobby grows in popularity.
Lead judge Paul Hollywood, the only judge to have come with the show after its move, said young people see it as a “cool” pastime to have.
He said: "Baking has become such a cool thing to do, and if you're a girl, a young lad, if you can bake, you'll get friends - always."
Celebrating a decade of the beloved baking competition, which returns to screens this month, producers have decided to do away with the usual 12 contestants favouring a baker's dozen of 13.
According to Leith, this year's bakers can rest assured that they have been chosen for their culinary skills.
She said: "What's so interesting is when they're choosing the bakers, the main thing they want to know is that they're getting the 12 best bakers in the country.
"They're not choosing, they're not set up to find somebody who's the right ethnic mix, or the right height, or the right age or anything."
She added: "It's only when they really know that everybody who's left in the competition is a fantastic baker that they make sure, Channel 4 make sure, they've got the right balance."
In 2015, while still hosted by BBC2, the line up of Bakers received criticism for being too ‘PC’. Since then, it has seen a diverse group of talent take on the heat of the kitchen, with an average of nine million viewers tuning in for Channel 4’s first series.
However, Tom Harrington a senior research analyst at Enders Analysis said it was “no secret that “linear television is struggling especially with younger viewers”.
He said: “Channel 4 is supposed to be the more youthful public service broadcaster.
“They have to be providing programming for a younger audience than the BBC.
“So even the presenters, having Noel Fielding is to a somewhat younger audience than who they had previously.
With the shift to streaming sites, he said that the broadcaster would be looking to make “their biggest show a hit amongst that demographic while they still can.''
“A lot of viewing is going from traditional linear to online viewing and traditional broadcasters want to be part of that transition to on-demand and internet television.”
“Until Love Island came along for 16-34's Bake Off was probably the biggest show,” he said, adding that while its 10-year run was “phenomenal in terms of longevity” they need to “keep it going and keep it fresh”.
The advertising-funded broadcaster also reported an increase in revenues in its 2018 report partly driven by digital revenue growth of 11 per cent.
A spokesperson for Love Productions said: “We always look for Britain’s best amateur bakers. That more young people are applying possibly reflects a generation who have grown up watching Bake Off over the last 10 years.”
While the contestants get younger, Hollywood and Leith have said that they wished to continue their tenure on the show into old age, or at least to match former judges.
Leith said: "My ambition is not so ambitious. I just want to at least equal Mary Berry, she did seven years.
"I've got another four years to go."
The eldest of the thirteen is 56-year-old HGV driver Phil who is passionate about motorbikes, turning up at meetings with home-baked goods. There is only one other contestant over the age of 40.
Six of the contestants are in their twenties, including veterinary surgeon Rosie, 28, whose puddings are often inspired by the rural surroundings of her Somerset home.
Meanwhile, two contestants were just ten years old when Bake Off first began and have grown up watching the quintessentially British show.
Henry, 20, first became fascinated with the show when series two was filmed at his local park. He said: “I used to see Paul Hollywood when I walked past the tent to go to school in the mornings, so I really got into it.
“I told Paul that I remembered him filming series two.
“So he knew I had come full circle and was now in the Tent, and that was pretty special.”
Fellow judge, Prue Leith said that The Great British Bake Off is not trying to find "the right ethnic mix" but is only interested in seeking out the best bakers to compete.
Leith said that those who enter the famous tent are not chosen based on their ethnicity, age, or weight however praised the programme for remaining "a very inclusive show".