My name is Jamie Rodney, and I don’t like the Great British Bake Off. I understand that that isn’t quite as controversial a statement as it used to be, so allow me to qualify it. I don’t like the Great British Bake off. I have never liked the Great British Bake Off. The departure of Mary Berry did not “ruin” the Great British Bake Off, because it is impossible to ruin something that had no redeeming features in the first place.
Now, a quick disclaimer. Usually, I am an advocate of letting people enjoy the things they enjoy, and I’m aware what I’ve said so far makes me sound like an elitist dick. But there are two reasons why I think in this case, such elitist dickery is justified. The first is that the Great Brittish Bake off is so ubiquitous, so inescapable, that it’s not possible to not talk about it. The second is that I am type one diabetic. That means that obviously, I approach Bake Off slightly differently to those of you with functioning pancreases. It’s difficult to get enthusiastic about a show dedicated to the creation, and the celebration, of things that could quite easily send you into a sugar-coma.
The inability to take any sort of pleasure in the stuff that’s being baked means that when I do watch it, I have to focus on other aspects of the show, which, unfortunately, suck. I’ve watched episodes of both the new and old Bake Off, and literally the only entertainment it provided me with was trying to figure out what was behind Paul Hollywood’s faint air of menace. I mean, have you seen the guy? I don’t want to say anything libellous, but I’m not sure what it says about us as a nation that we’ve allowed Hollywood to rise to such national acclaim when he was very clearly the one who killed Bambi’s mother.
And I’m not really sure what it says about GBBO’s showrunners that they managed to make a show in which a powerfully built man with the icy blue eyes of a psychopath regularly handles sharp objects so boring.
It’s not just Hannibal Hollywood, though. Every presenter of GBBO suffers from the same problem. Unlike, say, The Apprentice, which only pretends to be about business so it can let the audience in on the real fun of watching a bunch of egonamiacs sabotage each other, everything in GBBO is basically a a vehicle for showing off the baking skills of the contestants. That’s not a bad thing, but if you’re a glucophobe like me, it means you tend to notice how hollow the rest of the show is. Mel Giedroyc, Sue Perkins, and Noel Fielding are all very funny, but there’s only so much humour you can get out of what is at the end of the day, the arrangement of flour and butter. Some of the contestants on GBBO are interesting and likeable and charismatic, but it’s hard to take anything they say seriously when you remember that they have chosen, of their own volition, to bake cakes in the countryside on national TV for however many weeks.
So, there you go. Apologies if I’ve upset anyone, but if the Bake Off was binned, I wouldn’t greive for it.