As the end of the year starts to materialise, so does the impending end of some of our most beloved television shows. The Great British Bake Off is one of them, and this time for good! This has broken the heart of the nation and sparked quite a bit of ambivalently thrown anger towards the BBC and C4. I will not be giving away any spoilers in this article with regard to contestants etc., I will mainly strive to understand why this show has become such a hit amongst so many of us.
What seems like quite a simple idea for a programme, GBBO has hit the hearts of almost everyone! On paper, it sounds like the kind of programme that your Grandma would watch, snuggled up of an evening with a cuppa and an assortment of biscuits (which to me sounds exceedingly favourable). So what about it has made it seep into British culture?
Baking is most commonly regarded as more of a mature persons past-time and part of the female sphere since the dawn of gender roles, therefore being banished to the confines of domesticity. But since the gender barriers have and are still continuing to be broken down, more and more people are finding passions in something often attributed to the opposite gender. Women are finally being recognised as equals in regard to being athletes (in some cases) and the subject around the ‘house-husband’ and its controversies seems to have subsided in many communities, which then brings us to baking. Since bake offs inception, almost every contestant has in some way or another brought something alternative to traditional baking, and that’s why so many people are so fascinated. Not forgetting to mention Nadiya’s fabulous fizzy drink creation. This has hence struck a chord with many peoples inner-baker; baking isn’t for just a select group of people, but can be so versatile and speaks to almost any age group.
It is also jam-packed with such British sensibilities: Mary Berry and her complete eternal poise, the delectable amount of accent variety, and soggy bottoms! What could get more British. Also with the slightly aristocratic accent vibe from the fantastic Sue Perkins and motherly demeanour of Mel Giedroyc, GBBO won’t be the same without this cheeky pair, and the delectable duo of Berry and Hollywood! But seeing as there are hints at Richard Ayoade joining the Bake-off solar system, we can’t speak too soon.