Bake Off fans, admit it: We were wrong to judge the Channel 4 show before it aired

Bake Off fans - It's time to admit we were wrong to judge the Channel 4 show before it aired

The new series of Bake Off has started

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A new series of The Great British Bake Off hit our TV screens last night and, as the world knows, it kicked off without star judge Mary Berry and presenting duo Mel and Sue.

There's been a collective, continuous deluge of criticism ever since the original paroxysm of anger which accompanied news that the show was moving to Channel 4. The anger from the Mary Berry fans, the Berryites if you will, has sometimes been as piercing and incessant as a car alarm.

Judging by the number of people who've used social media to send negative messages, there's a good chance you were one of those harbingers of doom yourself. If you were, well it's time to admit it: you were wrong.

I was the same, to be honest.

Like many others, I was skeptical about the move when it was announced, and I have to admit I had my doubts about the new presenters. Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig would burst the show's bubble, I thought, leaving it as saggy as a three-day-old souffle. 

Fielding, I thought, would be a little too out there for a cookery programme, but in fact when watching the show I thought he was actually a little too reserved, something I had thought impossible for a man who made his name from coming across as slightly strange. 

Sandi Toksvig also proved to be a good choice for the show, as she seemed to fit in well with its style, although both presenters need to up their game on innuendos throughout the series, as last night's episode seemed a little lacking.

In comparison to Mary Berry, the choice of Prue Leith had seemed quite odd. She's not exactly a household name and like many others I was a staunch Mary Berry fangirl, loving her blend of homely truths and sweet sagacity - as well as her use of the phrase "soggy bottom."

I also think Prue Leith filled the shoes of Mary Berry very well. Yes she'll never become a national treasure like Berry but she certainly did a good job last night, coming across as firm but friendly in her judging - the blend which propelled Berry to superstardom.

The haters would also do well to remember that this is a new era for GBBO, a bold step into the unkown (well, the unknown of TV cookery shows). When you think back to the show's first iteration, right back to when it first started, did you know who Mary Berry was? The chances are probably not, so let's give Prue Leith time and space to forge her own Bake Off legacy.

If I had one criticism last night, it was the narration. I'd never even thought about it until last night, but it was pretty much my only real irritation as it just didn't seem to fit for me and sounded rather forced.

Perhaps it's just because without seeing who's talking on screen I automatically want to hear Mel and Sue, but I'm not going to let this stop me from enjoying the show, as I'm almost certain within two weeks we, the Bake Off tribe, will have left such petty nit-picking behind. It'll seem normal for it to be on Channel 4.

One final thought: why were so many Berryites blanking Bake Off out of blind Beeb loyalty? Surely you're prepared to watch TV shows on more than one channel? The original GBBO was great, we all loved it, but come on, a channel-hop isn't sufficient reason to dump a beloved show. Was anyone outraged when the show moved from BBC 2 to BBC 1? No-one that I recall. So is the switch to Channel 4 really that different?

Yes there are the adverts, and I'll admit they can be annoying, but in true Bake Off style you have to admit it gives you time to make a cup of tea and eat some cake. Besides, as Prue Leith herself said, if you want you can always record the show, start watching it a little after 8pm and fast forward through the adverts (way to get on the fans' side by the way Prue, that was a great shout).

So Bake Off fans, as terrible as it sounds, it's time to admit we were wrong. GBBO is going to be fine, so let's make sure we're all on the bandwagon.