Here’s one I made earlier… (I didn’t)*

Berry. Hollywood. Perkins. Other one whose name I can’t spell. Crème Pat. Bin related tantrums. It can only mean one thing: Great British Bake Off is back…

Now, as a 30-something straight man with all the baking ability of a one-winged gluten intolerant penguin, you may wonder why exactly I’m so excited.

And to be honest, I can’t quite put my finger on why myself.

Maybe it’s because GBBO is the one and only reality TV show that actually reflects reality in any way. I’m not talking, of course, about the weird time-displaced village fete setting, which is like something from a lost Doctor Who episode about an alien space zoo with exhibits based on 1950s Hampshire.

No, what I mean is, every contestant feels like a real person, in a way that the Big Brothers and Britain’s Got Talents of this world never quite get, despite their insistence on bludgeoning us half to death with each hopeful’s convoluted and tragic backstories.

It doesn’t ham-handedly decide on our heroes and villains for us – everyone is refreshingly human, flawed one minute and charming the next, so we get to make our own minds up. It’s like The Wire with scones.

The red wedding (cake)

Then there’s the sense of genuine jeopardy unmatched in all but the most harrowing episodes of Game of Thrones. It can, and does, go wrong for ANYONE at any given moment.

Contestant’s eye-view of Paul Hollywood (pinched from GoT Wiki)

There are few things more tense than watching a retired R.E. teacher from Scunthorpe trying to mount their show-stopping spun-sugar recreation of Blackpool Tower on top of a Kiss Me Quick Hat made from Genoese sponge while under the death-ray glare of Paul Hollywood, GBBO’s resident White Walker.

Yes, of course it’s twee and middle-class, and about as edgy as a toddler’s ball pit – but maybe that’s why I love it. We live in a world where beloved children’s entertainers are outed as moustache-twirlingly evil deviants on a monthly basis; where our screens are dominated by mean spirited hatchet-job ‘documentaries’ designed to make us hate and fear the poor and foreigners, or even worse, poor foreigners; where every new drama series has to involve murdered kids or serial killers.

Is it really so wrong to have something nice on telly?

Are you Berry excited that Bake Off is back, or does the whole idea give you a soggy bottom? Let me know in the comments or on twitter at @FuudBlog

* photo credit: Victoria Sponge Cake via photopin (license)


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