Headlines. National outrage. Heated debates. Tears. GBBO moving to Channel 4 provided all this and more when the nation’s favourite baking show moved TV channels. Sasha Semple gives us her run-down of the new (and improved?) version of the show…
As a firm BBC supporter and Mary Berry devotee, I believed my position to boycott the Bake Off reboot was as set as my refusal to surrender to the Love Island anarchy earlier this summer. Yet once again I have readily succumbed, not to the garish neon décor of the villa, but instead to the familiar white peaks and pastel countertops of the GBBO tent.
Initially the stigma around Channel 4’s knock-off, combined with my own principles, meant admitting to tuning into the new series of Bake Off felt like something of a confession. It was as though I should be ashamed for sinfully indulging in an hour of tense technicals and cake-related puns.
However, as biscuit week rolled into bread week, my commitment to BBC One began to crumble away. On the surface, very little has changed. At a time when the world seems to be descending into chaos: with each news notification reporting on another missile launch or natural disaster, there is comfort to be found in the consistency of cake.
Sandy mirrors Sue’s dry wit and whilst Noel’s flamboyant shirts are sometimes show stoppers in themselves, his eclectic humour brings back fond memories of Mel. Prue may be overlooked as a Mary Berry downgrade, but it is difficult to expect her to fill the last judge’s small, sugar coated shoes.
Dare I say it, the stroopwafels might be sweet enough and Prue’s criticisms are what the programme lacked. Whilst the new judge may fall short of expectations, the quality of cake decorating has received a significant upgrade. Many of the creations being unveiled, namely Steven’s chess set or Yan’s sushi, would look more at home in Carlo’s Bakery, not on top of the gingham alter.
There is a general feeling that Channel 4’s relaunch has brought with it a more human element to the show. Maybe it is against the backdrop of political turmoil that I am frantically trying to find displays of empathy, but the new Bake Off seems to portray a more genuine side to each contestant.
Let me be clear, I actively revelled in the ice cream fuelled dramas of the earlier series, however there is peace to be found when, within a divided country, bakers can come together to help assemble a plate of food. It may be the only noticeably different element to the show, but this comradery is a beacon of fondue covered hope in the wake of the Brexit aftermath.
I implore you, cut your allegiance to the early series, climb out of the fridge and admit that the new series meets, if not supersedes, the Bake Off everyone had grown to love.
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