Advertisement
TV

The Great British Bake Off shows there’s still hope for the country

Oven Ready! At last, a positive in this chaotic world – the new series of Great British Bake Off is an absolute joy, writes Lucy Sweet.

If this year was a cake, it’d be an uncooked sponge (no gas) decorated with gravel (our new currency) and discarded swabs from lateral flow tests (festive!). But somewhere in a tent in bucolic England, there is still hope for Britain.

This place – wherever it actually is – shows us what we’re still capable of being: an abundant and diverse land full of eccentrics, nerds and people with EU passports, where skill and creativity are welcome and everyone (well, almost everyone) knows how to make a gravity-defying cake in the shape of their childhood memories.

Isn’t this what we should be voting for?

Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding are properly settling into their roles as cosy middle-aged TV personalities in wacky jumpers

I don’t know whether this is just because EVERYTHING IS SO HARD at the moment, but the first episode of the new Great British Bake Off was an absolute joy. Like finding a pink Mr Kipling french fancy in a sea of crap chocolate ones.

The calibre of the cakes and the contestants this year is off the scale, and it seemed like they all really get on (I would argue that the Bake Off Covid bubble has vastly improved the atmosphere on the show). Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding are properly settling into their roles as cosy middle-aged TV personalities in wacky jumpers. And even Paul Hollywood didn’t curdle my crème pat quite so much as usual.

At the moment, my favourite to win is Jürgen, a small German man with eyebrows like two Tyrolean feathered hats, who plays the trombone with his wife and mortified-looking teenage son in his spare time. He is a force for good in this world and if you mess with Jürgen, you mess with ME.

Advertisement
Advertisement

He made a pistachio and rose cake in the shape of a book and a reading lamp. If you need me I will be on my sofa crying about this noble and sensitive achievement until the end of time.

We were also introduced to Prue Leith lookalike Maggie, a retired midwife so effervescent she could replace the UK’s stock of CO2 in about five minutes.

Then there was Frank Zappa-esque Giuseppe, an engineer whose extremely precise swiss rolls would have been disturbing, had we not already seen him at home making slapdash pizzas with his kids, who he affectionately called “amore”.

I also loved Freya, a 19-year-old vegan baker who is so staggeringly talented (and blasé about it) that it’s almost as if she’s a new kind of person.

Anyway, please allow me to bask in this short period of time when I truly believe that everyone and everything about Bake Off is lovely.

Soon I will start to hate them all, criticise their gingerbread chandeliers and scream when Paul says something sexist about a woman’s buns. But right now, as we enter a trying winter, the sunlit uplands of Bake Off are where I want to live.

The Great British Bake Off is on Channel 4 at 8pm on Tuesday and All 4

@lucytweet1

Advertisement

Bigger Issues need bigger solutions

Big Issue Group is creating new solutions through enterprise to unlock opportunities for the 14.5 million people living in poverty to earn, learn and thrive. Big Issue Group brings together our media and investment initiatives as well as a diverse and pioneering range of new solutions, all of which aim to dismantle poverty by creating opportunity. Learn how you can change lives today.

Recommended for you

Read All
Asim Chaudhry in The Sandman: 'I actually auditioned for Cain. They thought I was a bit too nice'
TV

Asim Chaudhry in The Sandman: 'I actually auditioned for Cain. They thought I was a bit too nice'

What made Neighbours so special? Let the superfans explain
TV

What made Neighbours so special? Let the superfans explain

How Neighbours changed the world
TV

How Neighbours changed the world

Tom Daley calls on Commonwealth Games to lead the way in tackling homophobia in sport
TV

Tom Daley calls on Commonwealth Games to lead the way in tackling homophobia in sport

Most Popular

Read All
All the places where kids can eat free during the summer holidays
1.

All the places where kids can eat free during the summer holidays

This Twitter bot is exposing celebrities taking three-minute private jet flights
2.

This Twitter bot is exposing celebrities taking three-minute private jet flights

Will free school meals and vouchers be offered over the summer holidays?
3.

Will free school meals and vouchers be offered over the summer holidays?

Estate agents caught saying they don't rent homes to people on benefits
4.

Estate agents caught saying they don't rent homes to people on benefits

Keep up to date with the Big Issue. The leading voice on life, politics, culture and social activism direct to your inbox.