The Great British Bake Off – A Sinking Ship?

The Great British Bake Off is one of my favourite TV programmes, I’m not even sure why. I remember reading that the ratio between over and under 50 for GBBO was 1:1 – an incredible stat that no one has quite managed to understand, but remains part of the Baking phenomenon.

But it seems to have lost its way – even before the ‘drama’ of the move to Channel 4, Mel and Sue leaving and now Mary Berry.

Watching the programme this time, the judges seem meaner (even Mary), nearly all of the Bakers in the tent are having some sort of disaster every time which leads me to believe that they are not allocating enough time for the actual baking. Which suggests the competition isn’t actually fair.

It seems edited differently, I can’t tell how unless I looked back on other seasons but it seems to be cut at a more ‘brutal’ pace – all you really see are the negatives. It’s falling into the X-Factor trap, where producers think everyone is after drama so only shows us the worst bits. It’s a show about cake for God’s sake. Let them have it and eat it too!

It’s a shame, but all good things must come to an end. I don’t think it will survive in the same way when it moves to Channel 4 and I’m not sure of Paul Hollywood remaining will be enough of a draw – he’s the nasty character, and despite the fact he may be a sex symbol for the over 50s (read that in a magazine – don’t see it myself) his affair with his co-star on the American Bake Off may haunt him in his lone adventure to Channel 4. Who will the second judge be? Either they’ll pull a Strictly and bring back a previous contestant (Nadiya, anyone?) or it’ll be someone young, hot and dubiously younger than Paul that he can awkwardly smirk at (WHY DOES HE DO THAT?!)

Hollywood has signed a 3-year contract with Channel 4, so it will be interesting to see how that progresses and whether that will manifest itself in Bake Off or a new stand alone show. I could be wrong about it not surviving – after the Top Gear debacle, I feel certain that ‘The Grand Tour’ on Amazon will easily defeat the new Top Gear for ratings. But they have kept the same cast, which Bake Off will not.

What do you think? Will it continue to rise? Or are we doomed for it to all go flat?



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