Oh, yes, it’s back! Hooray! The Great British Bake Off, two weeks later than normal, in order not to compete with the Olympics, but no less light and moist for the extra time in the oven. And before the show had even got underway we were into our first controversy, the mystery of the disappearing nuts. Yes, #squirrelgate trended on social media, as the Twitterati exclaimed over the disappearance of the embarrassingly well-endowed squirrel which used to grace the titles and which has been replaced with a boringly gonad-free pheasant.
Fix! Cried social media. No, no, murmured Love Productions, the makers, emolliently, it was just that there weren’t any squirrels this year, only pheasants. A likely story! In my experience you can barely move in the country without spotting something giving its enormous genitalia a good airing, so I find it hard to believe that the ugly hand of squirrel censorship didn’t play a part in the disappearance of Mr Nutkin. Still, at least the pheasant was a cock, so some semblance of appropriate smut remained.
Fortunately the smut was well present and correct during the show itself, which featured such gems as “You’ve got great penetration there ” (blush) and “Just a couple of swallows” (Ooohhh, missis!), plus, during the trailer for next week, the immortal phrase “Would you like a warm hand on your bag?” Frankly, who could resist?
The presenters were all present and correct too, Mary’s coiff like a triumph of spun sugar, Paul’s manly stance akimbo, and MelanSue doing the usual stellar job of keeping the show, the double entendres and the contestants on the road. If I had thought before the show started that it was impossible to ramp up the love for the Mary/Paul combo any further, I was proved wrong when it was revealed that a rumoured move to ITV was scuppered when Mary and Paul told the production company that if the show went, they wouldn’t go with it.
What a class act they are, like the perfect Genoese sponge with a flawless mirror glaze, which coincidentally was the bake the contestants had to produce for the showstopper. Mary and Paul have said that they felt they were getting overcomplicated and that in this series it would be back to basics. Since Episode 1 featured both Jaffa cakes and said Genoese sponge with mirror glaze, I have a feeling they may be ‘avin’ a laugh, which fills me with high hopes for the rest of the series.
And of course, there were bakes, some moist and crumbly, some soggy bottomed, and contestants ditto. It’s a bit early in the series so we don’t really know them yet, but I shall keep my eye on Benjamina, the lovely Jane, and Selasi, the most laid-back banker you are ever likely to meet. And of course, Andrew, who appeared likely to be an early departure after the technical, but recovered magnificently in the showstopper to produce an Ultimate Indulgence Mirror Glaze cake superbly decorated with candied hazelnuts (possibly donated by Squirrel Golden Balls). I rather like Andrew and hope we may keep him; I shall get him a bowl with his name on it and keep my fingers crossed.
This week, the first departure was poor Lee, the token older man (how rarely does one get to say those words!). He is a pastor from Bolton, and I’m not sure whether that proves that God isn’t interested in cake or, on the contrary, that she likes it very much.
More next week (or sooner, if I get my act together a bit quicker next time 😉)