Before I go any further with this post may I point you in the direction of Simon of Stuck in a Book fame who has promised to write about the Great British Bake Off every week and has started off in hilarious fashion. I am planning on doing something similar - and I know Simon that I seem to follow your brilliant ideas but was thinking of this I promise - but will limit mine to occasional posts and will follow Simon with breathless interest.
This show has been one of the biggest surprise hits that the BBC has produced. When the idea of Strictly Come Dancing was mooted noses were turned up and thoughts were expressed along the lines of Rubbish, It will never Catch On blah blah blah. Now a worldwide phenomenom. I expect similar remarks were made about the GBBO. Can you imagine the producer meetings. Baking? Cakes? Mary Berry? Who is she and she is over forty so we cannot have her on TV blah blah blah. So they did the obvious and put in on BBC2 hoping nobody would notice it and lo and behold we now have another worldwide phenomenom as it has been sold abroad and the Beeb are making a packet (mix). Sorry could not resist putting that in. It all proves to me once again that the BBC have no idea what their viewers like. They know the demographic for watching TV is 35 upward and yet they are determined to cater for 'yoof' who are far too busy out on the town or downloading like crazy to sit in and watch TV. Anyway mini rant over.
So it starts and for the next ten weeks we will be watching mixing, kneading, pulverising, screaming, crying and slicing of bodily parts. The most noticeable part of the first programme was the numer of contestants sporting blue plasters on various parts of their anatomy. Not sure how many of my readers will have watched the latest series of Luther on the Beeb in which a blender took a prominent part...
I bake, not with the intensity and talent of many of the contestants, but I was slightly disappointed with some of the offerings produced last night. Perhaps after three seasons I am getting a bit picky but then told myself not to be so daft Elaine as to think those taking part are picked only for their culinary skills. There has to be a mix which is inclusive and will make good telly. So we therefore have a mother/grandmotherly type who calms down other contestants and helps them; a pretty young thing who dissolves into tears on a regular basis and has to be comforted; a pedant; a slightly eccentric sling it all together and see what happens kind of guy/woman; somebody gay; somebody from India/China/ethnic minority. Put in large pot, stir and see what comes out and in case you think I am being cynical this has already been discussed all over the websites and blogs which have arisen re GBBO.
First show a tad rushed but with so many bakers at the starting line there was obviously a problem slotting them all in and as we lose one or two a week, then we will have more time to get to know those remaining. We have already had the winsome weeper who I predict will soon become very irritating and the mad professor and I think I have spotted the pedant, we shall see. NIne weeks of joy lie ahead.
I have already said how disappointed I am in Paul Hollywood's all to predictible mid life crisis behavior which has led to him baking his sausage rolls elsewhere and I gather there has been quite a backlash about this on Twitter and other social media, in some cases calling for the BBC to get shot of him. OK it does rather dim the image of a nice family cosy series but really when you consider some of the arseholes presenting on television with dubious morals and lack of moral fibre (yes Simon Cowell you know I am talking about you), if we got rid of all of those we would be left with precious few people left. We are all flawed and can behave stupidly.
I, therefore, came to the show with a slight feeling of trepidation regarding all this which is plain daft when you think about it. Also, I have no strength of will at all - one glance at Paul's piercing blue eyes and then his smile when he said Good Bake and I went all of a doo dah and collapsed like an undercooked meringue. And if he ever gets tired of that skinny bony cupcake he seems to be consorting with, then I am here Paul and I am the full Swiss Roll, the luscious layered cake, the whipped cream of womenhood and I am getting totally carried away and am going to have a lie down.
Strictly Come Dancing back in a month or so as well. My cup runneth over.....