Aurora Browne on Stepping In as Host for The Great Canadian Baking Show


The contestants of CBC’s Great Canadian Baking Show are ready to head back to the tent, but this time they will find some new faces waiting there for them. The Season 3 premiere of the reality competition, airing Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBC, will introduce new hosts Aurora Browne and Carolyn Taylor, two of the co-creators and stars of the award-winning Baroness von Sketch Show, along with new judge Kyla Kennaley. Browne and Taylor take over hosting duties from Dan Levy and Julia Chan who departed after the show’s first two seasons.

The start of a new competition is just the first part in a busy fall for Browne and Taylor, as Season 4 of Baroness premieres Tuesday in a new time slot at 9:30 p.m. Already renewed for Season 5, Browne spoke with The TV Junkies about how fans can expect the show to keep delving into new genres. She also talked about how she and Taylor had so much fun hosting the reality competition and which item made a mouth watering impression on she and her husband.


The TV Junkies: How did this opportunity to host come about? What made you really want to do it?

Aurora Browne: We were getting ready to do our fifth season of Baroness, but we realized there wasn’t much overlap in the writing room and this. We could do it and make it work because this doesn’t take as long to shoot as Baroness. So we trucked up to the Canadian Film Centre, and put on great clothes to meet the bakers. It was just like being invited to a wonderful party that we were thrilled to attend.

TTVJ: Not only do you get invited, but you get to go with your friend and co-star, Carolyn. What was it like getting to go through all of this together?

AB: It’s fantastic. We already have a long-standing relationship so we didn’t have to worry about ‘would we have chemistry together?’ It was very, very easy to chat and joke with one of my dearest friends. We both love to cook and bake enough to know how hard it was that these bakers were doing. We both love eating and while we are both most likely to say ‘oh no, we’re not eating carbs,’ while shooting Baroness, but when they said ‘would you eat?’ We said ‘yes! Yes!’ We’re both youngest children and it was like the grown up version of hanging out with your mom in the kitchen when she lets you lick the batter. We had a lot of fun together and so much fun with the bakers. They were really lovely people.


TTVJ: Julia and Dan are both very popular and it had to add pressure for you to take over from them. How did you deal with that?

AB: Of course when there’s a franchise that’s so beloved and there’s hosts that people love, you hope you’ll come in and step into those shoes. We are fans of the show too, but wanted to make it our own, while still being as supportive and charming as those two. It was a wonderful baton to be handed. The show is so established that we just stepped into these well-worn shoes and hope we’re doing a good job.

TTVJ: In addition to you and Carolyn being new hosts, there’s also a new judge this season. Can you share a little about who the new judge is?

AB: Kyla Kennaley is a wonderful person, as is Bruno [Feldeisen], and she’s tiny and one of the nicest human beings I’ve ever met. She’s sparkly and genuine, but just like Bruno, she has such a depth of knowledge. We were continually amazed at how laser-like both she and Bruno were at pinpointing the problem. She was always able to focus in on ‘this is what happened.’ We asked how they were able to tell so precisely what happened? She said, and Bruno echoed, that they had both made those mistakes themselves a thousand times. She has really been there and knows how to assess their baking with so much knowledge, and supportively at the same time. She’s a really kind person and you really feel like you’re in good hands with both she and Bruno.

TTVJ: Did you have a favorite week or any week you particularly were looking forward to?

AB: That’s a tough question because every week really was delicious. I will say out of all the things I tasted, and then got to bring home, my husband and I agreed on what our favorite thing was from the whole season. I don’t want to spoil, but our favorite thing was from ‘Bread Week.’ We couldn’t stop talking about it, and every time we did we’d get a far away look in our eyes.


TTVJ: Where you guys are headed in Season 4 of Baroness? Is there anything new you all tried to do with this season that you hadn’t done in the past?

AB: Every season I always go in saying ‘surely there’s no way we can top what we’ve done before or be as funny,’ but this was just as fun. We kept delving into different genres. Jen Whalen and I found out we had so much fun being cops together in Season 3, that we did try to do a little more of a procedural thing that we got in.

Season 4 is also the first time that all four of us have stepped into the directing role. We also had Aleysa Young and Jordan Canning back [as the main directors]. It was great to have that shorthand there and then it gave us the confidence to step into that a little bit. To get to experiment with that was a lot of fun.

Sometimes you don’t know what you’re heading in for until you look at the whole season. It seemed to be a lot of horror-inspired things peppering up a little more. Maybe the world is getting more horrifying and there was no better way to explore that.

TTVJ: You always have some fun guest stars each season. Anyone joining the Baroness ladies that we should know about?

AB: We were very excited to have Martha Plimpton guest star this year. I’ve always known her from stuff like Goonies and had been following her for a long time. We were all fans of her and we found out she was a fan of the show. She came for a day and we got her in a few scenes. We got her in a fun scene that explores the superhero genre so you can look for her in a superhero costume. Whenever we have a guest star come there’s always a moment when they first arrive and I turn into a blubbering fan that can’t talk, but then the scene starts and it’s super fun. She was wonderful and it was exciting to have someone you admire artistically, is such a great feminist and her politics really align with ours. She’s a really love person and it was a lot of fun.


Are you excited for new seasons of Baroness and The Great Canadian Baking Show? Sound off below!

Baroness von Sketch Show Season 4 premieres on Tuesday, September 17 at 9:30 p.m. ET on CBC and CBC Gem. The Great Canadian Baking Show Season 3 premieres Wednesday, September 18 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on CBC and the CBC Gem.