One of the list of things that bring fill me with an uncontainable joy are gin, a decent Sunday roast and, at the top of the list, The Great British Bake Off. I love it to such an extent, that anybody who dislikes it or isn’t aware of it immediately becomes deeply untrustworthy to me. How can you bond over anything if you can’t do it over discussing someone’s drizzle cake or Viennese Whirls?

Of course it is all about casting and the bar is high this year. Last year was near perfect, with heartthrob Tamal, daffy Sandy and Nadiya, who has become a very modern nation’s sweetheart. Such was my expectations, that I almost found the first episode the new series a disappointment, forgetting that my love and adoration for anyone always takes a few episodes. I didn’t plan on marrying Tamal until week 6, for example.

Now the second episode is out of the way, I feel some opinions forming and a few personal favourites rise. For a start, Candice, who seems lovely, down-to-earth and very talented, with just that hint of self-deprecation that, as Brits, we demand all our heroes have. I also like Selasi, purely for his ability to look ridiculously chilled and still turn out some the strongest bakes. His downfall will be if he ever finally does crack. Expect crème patisserie to be up the sides of the Bake Off tent.

Andrew I’m undecided on. As someone from my neck of the woods I feel I should support him, but there is something a little too angelic about him. I would like a swear word to slip out while he is decorating a cake or for him to politely but firmly challenge Paul Hollywood when he is laying into a bake. Still, it may only take a small thing for him to replace Tamal in my heart. Actually, that’s a lie. Nothing could replace Tamal.

As for people I find irritating, Kate has taken top spot with that. Like Ian last year, there seems to be a constant parade of ‘look what I grew at home’. Every time she produces a bowl of home-grown plums, I feel the urge to go to a budget supermarket, pick up a punnet and make the exact same dish but better. Petty, I know, but Bake Off can bring out the worst in me as well as the best.

Anyway, there are still plenty of weeks to go before our champion is crowned. Bread needs to be proved, pastry rubbed and cakes to rise. In the meantime, I’m off to camp outside a certain former contestant’s house. The restraining order only covered his workplace.

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