Simon over on Stuck in a Book does a priceless round up of each episode of the Great British Bake Off and I love reading it. I make no attempt to better it or to even write something as funny or witty, but I do like to dip my toe in the tiramisu now and then and the episode last week and the ensuing furoure means I simply cannot let it go without commenting.
First up, the show is now on BBC1. This was announced with great fanfare by the Beeb as if GBBO had passed its auditions, done well and was now being allowed into the Big Boys tent. As soon as I heard it was being moved my heart sank. It will be ratings ratings ratings all the way now and it is clear that the producers have latched onto the Twitter and media attacks on Ruby Tandoh last year and have thought 'Mmmm something here to watch'. I found quiveringlipohIamawful Ruby a total irritant and agreed with a lot of comments made but drew the line at some of the more ghastly and vicous attacks. Only a young girl after all. Mark you she recently wrote in the Guardian that Diana (she who left the ice cream out) only recognises ingredients that 'appear in Mr Kipling's cakes'. So not such a sweet child after all....
I fear the show is going to go the X Factor route. The Obligatory Weeper went in the first week thank goodness but we are left with the quirky Older Man, Norman, the young sweet baker, Martha (who seems genuinely sweet in fact), Bob the Builder with the pencil behind his ear (yes I know it is really Richard) and other assorted representatives of the Great British Public. The hippy with the hair dripping dandruff and the teeth has now been despatched, the Yes I use bought Fondant guy has gone and now Ian with the Jedward hairstyle and the beard in which I am sure all sorts of cake ingredients are lurking has gone too.
Jordan (the hippy with the hair) has written a blog about the interview process etc. Interesting reading.
I gather thousands audition for this show and if you think that they pick the best bakers ONLY then you really need to get out more. The mix is all. We have young and old, black and white, gay and straight and barking mad and if you can knock up a quick apple crumble at the same time, then you are IN.
So here we are bumbling along nicely and then along comes Bingate. Oh how the producers must have shrieked with joy and thrown their cupcakes in the air. The editing suite went into overdrive in order to produce this particular episode.
Diana, who is the oldest contestant, as we keep getting told, took Iain's ice cream out of the fridge. Nobody is disputing that fact. She took it out, put it to one side and as far as we are allowed to see, made no attempt to say Oy Iain your icecream needs to go in another freezer. Should mention at this point that Nancy also saw it there and made no attempt to alert the Bearded One to its plight. When Iain saw it he went beserk and shrieked Why did you take it out the freezer? a perfectly legitimate question under the circs. Diana merely pulled a face at the camera and said well you have your own freezer don't you? And that is what has made her the target of all the Twitterati etc. Last year we had Custardgate when a contestant used another's custard for her trifle by mistake. Her reaction when she realised what she had done was genuine, she was horrified. Diana did not seem the slightest bit bothered.
I listened to an interview she gave to her local radio station in which she claimed she had been 'stitched up'. Well, yes of course she had been. The show has been edited to produce this public reaction and to boost ratings, but the fact remains she did it, did not apologise (or if she did we have not seen it) and Ian himself, who has stood up for her bless him, says he has not asked her 'why she did it'. Diana also avoided direct questions on this radio interview about whether she did it or not.
So did she do it on purpose? I would like to say no but I am not sure. She took it out and then rushed off and did not alert him to it. I think her reaction of gurning for the camera might have been to cover up the awful realisation of what had happened and she may have been acutely discombobulated by it all. Unfortunately, she did herself no favours and, as I have already said, the editing suite went into overdrive.
Since then she has left the show. Seems she has suffered a fall and an injury and this has nothing to do with the incident. But how many will believe that? and if she has gone, they are one contestant short so will the bring back Iain???
Watch this space.....
Who knew baking could be so exciting?