A New Fan for Bake Off

I have come rather late to fandom of Great British Bake Off. I had seen a few minutes of it before, but it hadn’t grabbed me. I really couldn’t give two hoots about the texture of someone’s cake icing. I don’t even like the stuff. So I would hear bits of conversation from the show’s afficionnados eagerly discussing the previous evening’s programme and mentally tune out.

For reasons I don’t recall, I watched almost the whole of the first programme in the current series. I missed the first few minutes, but sat amused and engaged to the end.

Is it always this entertaining? And do the presenters compete for who can serve up the most innuendos with a straight face? Mel and Sue just have fun being naughty; two adult women refusing to act like grown ups.

My favourite competitor is Nadiya. If she gets sent home, I am not sure if my interest will be sustained. It’s All in the Eyes with Nadiya. She’s Bake Off’s twenty-first century equivalent of the silent movie stars. Seldom have I seen a more expressive face. And she’s funny and cheeky, though I am not sure I can forgive her for putting gelatine in her icing to make it super glossy.

I think someone should sign her up quickly as a TV presenter. She could probably do more than any number of committees to make people understand that being a hijab wearing muslim woman is synonymous neither with repression nor terrorism. Here’s a blog dedicated to the faces she pulls.

I am even learning the lingo. On Twitter it’s #GBBO. The presenters are Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, and Bake Off’s appeal is such that Paul got the gig as the first story in the new series of Who Do You think You Are? which began last week.

In case you are wondering, I made a point of watching Bake Off last week too. Biscuits! and a nice bit of history thrown in to keep us intellectually stimulated, though I admit my favourite comment from the night was from the winner of this round, who siad that in his village with its population of four hundred he had yet to gain the prize for best male baker at the annnual fête.

A village of great male bakers. Now there’s an idea to conjure with.


15 thoughts on “A New Fan for Bake Off

  1. Oh! Oh! I’m eaten up with envy! Another season and it hasn’t reached the USA yet! I love this show! And does Nadiya ever look like a honey. Just can’t wait for her / it to get here. Thank you for the advance amuse bouche.

      • Oh yes, PBS showed Series 5 last year, changing the name a touch but keeping all the theatre. The mad skills of these bakers – and their confidence in facing the challenges – is just riveting. Just read they will show series 4 in September. I do hope S6 shows up here shortly after you all are finished with it..

        • There’s lots on twitter if you want sneak previews. And the biscuit factory where we watched the play in 2013 got a mention last week. I wonder if that would be edited out for US transmission.

  2. We had the alarm set just to be sure not to miss any episode at all. It’s not only the show, as you say: It’s the combination of contestants who truly extend far beyond home baking, the charm and wisdom of Paul & Mary and the wits and fun the two presenters contribute. Love every minute. And looking forward to Wednesday evening already. 🙂

  3. We are fairly late comers to GBBO Isobel. We watched last years final few episodes which was good as I met the winner Nancy when we were both being interviewed for Woman & Home. Her article was a 2 page spread compared to my almost full page. I’ve gone off it this time mainly die to all the media coverage of fraud etc. However, Nick is a real fan. He doesn’t bake, in fact only cooks one meal a week but says he like to get inspiration so also likes Saturday kitchen.

      • There was an American version that was an absolute flop – I cannot imagine American bakers showing as much courtesy and caring for the other contestants. I am especially drawn to the sense of pride in the bakers when Mary Berry compliments their work.

        • Who did it have in the Mel and Sue rôle? For me, they make it. Otherwise it would be too serious and could easily be pompous. I like plain baking, and all the fancy stuff the bakers produce, while impressive, leaves me cold. Though I did like the look of some of the biscuits last week.

  4. I’ve come back to it this series and I like Nadiya best as well. I thought the biscuits were a bit over the top! This weekend I had to take a dessert to a ‘do’, so as well as that, I made a coffee cake for the first time in years, I haven’t lost my touch, it’s divine but seriously bad news!

    • She makes me laugh. I confess I enjoyed the biscuits more than the cakes. Not being a fan of icing and cakes as ornaments, I preferred to see things I might actually want to eat. I thought the arlettes looked delicious.

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