FOOD & DRINK

Bake Off coming soon and London is well represented

Three of the 13 GBBO contestants have connections with the capital

Yes, it will be back on our screens soon. The Great British Bake Off (GBBO) is set to return to Channel 4 next Tuesday, the 27th of this month – less than a week away.

Those who have been experiencing withdrawal symptoms can breath a sigh of relief.

The success of this programme has never ceased to amaze me. A bunch of amateur bakers get together in a big tent and cook. Sorry, make that bake, I’m sure there is a significant difference.

I suppose the true appeal of the programme is that it takes many viewers back to a happier time in their lives. Visiting grandma and sitting down to tea (or juice) and cake, that sort of thing!

I get quite nostalgic myself when watching GBBO.

It should be pointed out that it took me a long while to work out how to turn the oven on in my apartment. It is rarely used now because on the few times I called it into action the smoke from whatever I was cooking would set the fire alarm off. Too much like hard work.

Baking is off the agenda for me. I rarely have the time – and less the inclination – to try to bake anything. But I still like watching others doing it. I’m sure a psychiatrist would have a field day.

I should also add that the sugar content of many baked goods is not clever for me given that I am diabetic.

So, in our ‘does it need five or six minutes in the microwave’ lives is there still a place for good old-fashioned baking? Obviously, the answer is yes, or, more accurately, there is still a place for watching others doing it.

It’s great drama. Not quite like watching an F1 Brand Prix, but in the same way that many watch motor racing for the crashes (come on now, admit it – provided no one gets hurt) people watch GBBO hoping secretly, I’m sure, that one of the contestants will make a total lash up of things.

No one gets seriously hurt. Maybe a knife cut or a small burn by touching a baking tray you shouldn’t, but nothing life-threatening, you understand.

However, there is still the perverse joy of watching the soufflé that refuses to rise, the cream topping that separates, the tall cake display that collapses.

Yes, once you have picked your favourite, there is still the pleasure of watching them do well. But it’s much more fun to watch their opponents have their intricate creation collapse in a heap. Well, that’s how I derive my enjoyment.

If you want a full list of the bakers visit the website of my old employer the Daily Express.

Amelia now lives in London

I won’t try to name them all here, but I can tell you that the London interest is three-fold – Amelia, David and Phil. No surnames. I guess that is to stop you stalking them and demanding that they hand over the Bakewell tarts.

David is a health adviser

Details about them are sketchy, but I can tell you that Amelia is 24 is a sportswear designer who hails from Halifax but now resides in London. David is a London-based international health adviser and Phil is an East London HGV driver with a wife and two kids. He has only been baking properly for six years.

Phil drives heavy lorries

We at London Inspire wish each of the participants all the best (not just the London ones).

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past publications worked for include the South-East London Mercury*, Kent Messenger, Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor for an East Midlands-based publishing group.

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