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Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Why We Love ‘The Great British Bake Off’

On paper The Great British Bake off is just another cooking competition, focussing primarily on baked goods. So why do we love The Great British Bake off so much? And why does it stand out from other cooking shows? There is a certain something that makes the show so addictive to watch and in turn makes the Great British Bake Off one of the most anticipated TV shows of the year. So, what makes the Great British bake off special? I believe it’s due to a number of key ingredients (wink) that are original to the show.

First, you have the hosts, the delightful Mel and Sue; the providers of light humour and baking-themed innuendos- because who can’t resist a good innuendo? There’s the judges; steely eyed Paul, who you can count on to always say something mean and Mary, the fashionable 78-year old who’s signature ‘side bite’ spurred its own website. Then there is the element of disaster present in every episode; because who can really bake and construct a tower of biscuits successfully in a less than a four hour time constraint? And there is something dreadfully enjoyable about watching a perfectly baked cake get knocked to the floor. It’s possibly that we identify with these bakers; hands up if you’ve used salt instead of sugar, hands up if you’ve also had the dreaded... soggy bottom. But we also watch to marvel at the successful bakes and most importantly the intricate ‘showstopper’ bakes. From choux pastry bicycles to gingerbread barns, you watch to see what they’ll do next...I’m hoping for a ‘space-ninja’ sourdough loaf. But not only does it look good, but you know it tastes good, and Mary Berry’s satisfied smile only confirms this.

Lastly, there’s the oh-so-very Britishness of the show! There’s the union-jack studded tent, British-baking themed history sessions and the fact that the contestants spend equal amounts of time looking concerned/confused with mugs of tea as they do baking. All in all, the Great British Bake Off is exactly what it advertises itself as and its constant success at home (and overseas) only proves our obsession with baking. Not only this, but former contestant James Morton has appealed to students with the creation of The Great-British bake off drinking game, which I will most definitely be playing when the finale airs. 

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