So, the Great British Bake Off – or more fondly named ‘GBBO’ – is back.
It’s been 10 months since we have gazed into Paul Hollywood’s eyes, giggled at Sue Perkins’ innuendos and been amazed at the contestants’ baked masterpieces.
The show’s following is huge – the new series has made a move to BBC1 in recognition of its status as a ratings hit.
Last year’s final, won by Frances Quinn, attracted a whopping nine million viewers.
This series also has the addition of a spin off show, ‘Extra Slice’. Hosted by the comedian Jo Brand, the show mulls over Wednesday night’s highlights and features an interview with the eliminated contestant.
From trawling through my Twitter feed on Wednesday night, it is clear that the whole nation has gone ‘GBBO’ mad.
Having been obsessed with the programme for as long as it has been aired on television, I have to ask myself: “Why does our nation love this baking show so much?”
I think the answer lies in comparison.
By just flicking through the BBC news headlines I am bombarded by desperately sad, frankly depressing stories – the stabbing of two British medical students in Borneo, the conflict in Gaza… the list is endless.
Even in comparison to other television shows, GBBO’s light-heartedness is more attractive than watching the gruesome training in ‘Royal Marines Commando School’ or women in labour in ‘One Born Every Minute’.
Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t face up to the reality of day-to-day life, but sometimes it’s easier to turn off the news, put your feet up and watch some people baking cakes.
And what’s wrong with that?
Our nation should allow itself to be entertained by a light-hearted baking program once in a while – the comforting familiarity of the show’s theme tune, the fabulously British design of the baking tent and the brightly-coloured blazer sported by Mary Berry all lull you into a sense of security that is not always offered in the real world.
So, I am preparing for a 10-week long binge of my favourite programme on television, and I hope you are too!