Well obviously it’s the cakes!
And the drama. I really love the drama, the way the rising of a cake creates so much emotion the contestants, even men, actually cry on screen, even though they know that millions are watching. Maybe that’s why they cry.
I love the tent, that big white marquee decked out with bunting. The sun shines on its shiny plastic windows except when the rain lashes against them. They film GBBO during the early summer and this summer has been amazing, so we should see lots of sunshine and a few red faces as the series progresses. I just hope no one faints from heat exhaustion – all those ovens, all that pressure on top of our hottest weather for years. I love the setting too, usually the grounds of some golden-stone stately home-type mansion. And, I love the squirrel – have we seen him yet?
I love the kitchens, each work station so beautifully arranged and painted in lovely pastel shades. I wonder how many british kitchens are perfect replicas. I love the shabby chic table Mary and Paul sit at to sample and discuss cake.
I love the baking methods, the recipes, the ingredients, the vagaries of the ovens, the running out of time, the over-elaborate decoration and of course, the soggy bottoms.
I love the contestants, those brave people willing to submit themselves to judgement and scrutiny in front of the nation. I love the look of concentration on their faces, their knowledge, their passion, their breads, their pies, but most of all their cakes. And their tears and polite tantrums.
I love Mel and Sue, their comic asides, their sympathy when things aren’t working out for the contestants, their genuine sorrow when people have to leave the competition. I love the way they wander around eating leftovers, sometimes even snatching a vital ingredient before it’s been discarded.
Then there’s Mary and Paul who are never nasty, snidey or spiteful, who only offer constructive criticism and encouragement – especially Mary. I love their blue eyes too – startlingly blue – on my TV anyway.
I love the mad, eccentric, nice Britishness of it.
Oh, and I love the cakes.
(I also love the Great British Sewing Bee)