Forget The X Factor, August signals the arrival of The Great British Bake Off, the amateur baking contest which made its triumphant return to BBC Two on Tuesday night for a fourth series.
Forget The X Factor, August signals the arrival of The Great British Bake Off, the amateur baking contest which made its triumphant return to BBC Two on Tuesday night for a fourth series. Here are 10 reasons why it is essential viewing:
With most reality shows these days, it all gets so competitive that there are arguments and bitterness on screen that can cloud the show’s real purpose. It’s quite refreshing for a show like Bake Off to put the spotlight back on the skills and talent, rather than on tabloid-worthy back-stories and needless drama.
Not just for the women
Gone are the days when women were confined to the kitchen. Times have moved on and now it’s cool for the modern man to show off his culinary skills. The arrival of cooking contests like this encourages unlikely chefs to take the plunge and confront their fear of baking powder.
It’s 100 per cent British
The BBC was quick to act after big national events (London 2012, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Royal Baby) by adding ‘Great British’ before every new concept for a series. But, GBBO was commissioned well before all that and it appears to be the only one that has proven real longevity (I Love My Country, anyone?).
Although commonly referred to as simply ‘The Bake Off’, would the show have the same appeal if it was a global contest with international participants? Probably not.
Somebody might drop a cake
As much as we might be cheering on the contestants to do well, the technology hasn’t been invented yet for us to reach out and grab what appears on screen. We’re not eating the cake so why should it matter if it violently splats on the floor! Amongst the occasional technical errors and stress-induced tears, the tension as the contestants carry their ornate masterpieces across the tent to the judges table is an interesting source of drama.
I don’t see it personally but women are going crazy for judge, Paul Hollywood. Move over Philip Schofield, there’s another silver fox in town…
Mary Berry’s a legend
Arguably the real star of the show, household name, Mary Berry, gives the show that extra credibility with a catering career spanning decades. Her delicate approach to mentoring, commenting and keeping fellow judge Hollywood in check makes her a fan-favourite.
Mel and Sue
The US version of the show flopped mainly because Jeff Foxworthy’s presenting style was inappropriate and static. Our far superior version is headed up by cheerful duo Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, who connect with contestants and viewers to give the show even more charm.
It’s a rare occasion when you are genuinely willing every contestant on a show to succeed. GBBO ticks all the boxes: it’s pure, family-friendly entertainment at its best. You can be inspired to try new techniques or simply marvel at the magnificent cakes created.
Keep Calm and Eat Cake
With the rising popularity of the show, millions have jumped on the baking hype by making more home-made cakes and biscuits (The Apprentice’s Lord Sugar must be kicking himself now for not investing in runner-up Luisa Zissman’s baking brand!). Even the Women’s Institute has seen a steady increase in members thanks to the endearing charm of Mary Berry and co. At the end of the day, they’re just cakes. What’s not to like?
Reason 10…you don’t need one!
Do you really need a tenth reason? Catch-up on the series so far on BBC iPlayer and watch the show every Tuesday on BBC Two at 8pm!