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Ah, we’re back! Enough of all this politics and soul-searching, let’s have some fun! After weeks of holidays, work travel and inconveniently arranged social events, last night found me poised on the sofa at 7.55 pm, supperonnatray and Twitter feed to hand, ready for the best programme on British TV.

And what a fine classic episode it was. It’s semi-final week, we’re down to the final four, and the stakes were high, with pressure rising on the judges and presenters to cram in as many double entendres as they could before the end of the series. We had “Get pulling!” and “It’s a bit bulbous”, both Mary, who I suspect hides a frisky heart beneath her smart cerise jacket. Richard supplied “I’m just roasting my nuts off here”, a multipurpose phrase which I can see getting a lot of use in the sauna this winter. And from Sue, gazing on Richard’s pale, wrinkly filo sausage (fnarr fnarr), we had “I’m not sure it’s even legal to show that on British television”.

Even the cakes joined in, in a week which required the contestants to make baklava, baumkuchen (oooh, no, missus!) and entremets. Just like mother used to make. Corrie Corfield tweeted that she’d rung the BBC news desk to find out the proper pronunciation of baklava and (gasp) THEY DIDN’T HAVE IT ON THEIR DATABASE! This may explain why the judges and contestants all pronounced it differently. We had variations including bak-LAV-ah, bak-luvUH, and BAK-l’ver, the last sounding vaguely reminiscent of a French fetishist (Ooh, baybee, I am a back loveairrr, may I feel your lurvlee lats?).

The judges had rather meanly required the contestants to make their own filo. As Richard said “Who ever makes their own filo? All of my friends buy theirs.” Richard is a builder. I can just imagine the conversation on site: “Whatchoo making this week, Rich?” “Baklava. Gotta make the filo and everything.” “Make the filo? That’s mad! Oo makes their own filo? Oy!! Les!!” “Yeah, mate, watchoo need?” “Djoo make yer own filo?” “Nah, course not. Buy it down the Turkish shop. What kind of a knob makes their own filo?”

Being a builder, Richard always has a pencil behind his ear, which is more obvious because he shaves his head. This has led to him being known among the bakers as Captain Pencil (oooh, stop!!). It always seems to stay there without a problem. Length seems to have something to do with it (ooh, no!), as it’s always about the length of a finger (oh, do it yourself!). I wonder if he cuts them down specially. Possibly they sell special builders’ pencils in those hardware shops which always have six white vans outside by seven-thirty, in boxes next to the till, so that you can pick them up as you would a box of Tictacs in a newsagent.

More tomorrow.