You may try and claim it as your bit of quintessential British comfort but you’ll have to prise it out of our cold, dead hands first…
The Great British Bake Off is a cultural institution, an undeniable presence in our social milieu. It’s one of those things that we shouldn’t really like that much about but we do, like pickled onion monster munch. It’s always labelled itself as the epitome of awkward, polite, bumblingly British humour, but, as many these apples are from my orchard in Dorset and I have three perfect blonde children and I will subliminally make all my bakes red, white and blue contestants they throw in, it’s not all choux buns and chauvinism. The Great British Bake Off is one big, fat, liberal socialist dreamworld. Even past finalist Ruby Tandoh has cemented that it’s basically created for the gays.
GBBO is, aptly, a melting pot. Where else on TV is each contestant so easily categorised? It’s just so easy to identify them: there’s Benidorm Flo, Brexit James, Fit Tom, Can-I-Speak-To-The-Manager Stacey. Where else would you find a gay molecular biologist flapping anxiously at her mini rolls, whilst a 71-year-old intelligibly cackles about something, dentures clacking around her mouth, then cutting to a clip of her dancing to the lyrics cause I got that boom boom that all the boys chase, and all the right junk in all the right places?
And sure, the producers want you to think this is some patriotic parade, union jacks flying everywhere, the word British appearing at least 19 times per episode – but this is no jingoistic exposition: Noel Fielding wandering around in woolly jumpers like a scarecrow on acid has made sure of that.
No. The real message is we can all work together! When one baker is struggling to prise his fruitcake out of its tin, a helpless embodiment of the NHS crumbling, everyone rushes to help! It’s a liberal utopia! Of course, Paul Hollywood still glowers in the corner, peering out of cold, blue, Conservative eyes and doling out handshakes like little pieces of false charity- – but everyone hates him now, so it’s absolutely fine! Really Paul? A Nazi costume?