A handful of people baking cakes in a marquee in the garden of some ‘Downton Abbey’-esque mansion fussing about with icing and worrying about the ‘sogginess’ off their pie bottoms, can it get any more English/British than that? For those of you who don’t have a clue what I’m talking about: may I introduce you to ‘The Great British Bake Off’. The GBBO’s format is simple: a group of homebakers compete against each other every week in three baking challenges. A basic cooking competition program you may think, but The Great British Bake Off is SO MUCH MORE!
First of all the show can be hilarious at times with candidates sitting in front of their ovens staring through the glass contemplating when to take their masterpieces out. The good cop/bad cop-action of judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry is very entertaining as well with Paul being the man you love to hate and Mary the woman you just wish was your Gran. The fact that the candidates get so worried and emotional about cakes can be quite funny too, although when a candidate cries because he or she accidentally dropped their creation on the floor or something equally catastrophic happens you can’t help but truly empathise.
I thought I wouldn’t be one off those idiots who sit on the floor and stare at their ovens and look at me now!” Glenn (GBBO competitor season 4)
Hosts Sue and Mel do go a great job presenting and adding comedy to the show but don’t know the first thing about baking and don’t pretend they do which gives you the impression the program doesn’t take itself too seriously. They also try to help the candidates where they can but that doesn’t always end so well.
Another great thing about The Great British Bake off is that the candidates are actually nice to each other and sometimes even give each other a hand when they have some time to spare. There is none of the backstabbing bitchiness that can go on in other cooking competitions.
Lastly the amazing cakes the candidates create are probably the best reason to watch the GBBO. I could never imagine having the patience to sculpt a polar bear out of marzipan or make a peacock shaped loaf but watching other people do it while lazily lying on the couch is one of my favourite things to do. Watching the show does make you want to have a go at baking, so who knows, maybe the GBBO will inspire you to become a baker extraordinaire.