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Bake Off Watch Along has all the Right Ingredients

SHANEY LLOYD reviews the School of Humanities Great British Bake Off watch along

Reviewing the Humanities Bake Off watch along should be a piece of cake (warning: this may not be the last baking pun). However, I suspect there may just be two minor problems:

1: I have never seen Bake Off.

2: I cannot bake.

As the weather turns a little chillier, I cocoon myself under a blanket, don my slippers, and get ready for a programme that has all the right ingredients (told you) for autumn viewing.

It seems this week is biscuit week! It is like the mothership is calling me home! Finally, something I have researched in great detail. Ah, ‘Brandy Snaps’ ...are they the ones you get in a posh coffee shop? Okay, maybe I kneed (I’m sorry) to do a bit more research.

Right, I’m ready to consult the experts, onto the chat. I join to find one member of the chat has forgotten to put the tv on, another member has lost the remote, I feel I have found my people! Strange, normally when I tune into tv to see a tent in a field, I’m about to follow a brooding police detective solve a dark murder in 6 episodes on ITV. However, despite many knives and much chopping, the only crime here is Noel’s hairdo. The ponytail debate is the hot topic, with the mum contingent in the chat deciding it ‘makes his head look a funny shape’.

Next up is the jam biscuit. For me, the main talent that cannot be beaten is the ability to bake with jam and flour and to remain spotless... if I so much as glance at a pot of jam, I look like the final act of a Tarantino film.

Meanwhile, over on the chat, a question arises: just how many pairs of glasses does Pru own?! If only there was a detective in the tent to keep track. Bizarrely, someone on the chat suggests having a go at making the brandy snaps- I’ll gladly accept!

Next, onto a challenge. I accept my own challenge, another biscuit, don't mind if I do! Their challenge, however, was to create an interactive biscuit version of their favourite childhood toy.

Back in the chat, someone remarks (inspired by the adverts) that James Bond was a baker and that Daniel Craig also lived near to several members of the chat in his school days. The chat revelations just keep coming... apparently Paul Hollywood worked with one of the chatee’s (is that a phrase, if not, it is now) parents. Meanwhile, back in the tent, there is talk of practice tents...? This rocks the world of the chat and now we no longer trust anything! Since when? The ultimate betrayal! Someone call for the ITV detective to deal with a travesty almost as great as Noel’s ponytail and Pru’s suspicious glasses stash.

The bakers are set their mission to create an interactive, favourite childhood toy. Okay, so we have a rocking horse, a pinball machine, an airplane, a sailboat- fairly typical. We also have a ‘dressing table filled with childhood jewels’ so I was not the only one who, as a child, was decked out with more bling than Jay Z. Unusually, there’s a snooker table....a what now?? Oh yes, we all remember it, these childhood summers playing out on the green with your mates, queuing in line for the… snooker table. I suspect that might just be someone’s only party piece!

I’ve noticed the grizzly detective’s life and death stakes are matched in the tent with comments like ‘judgement time’ and ‘time has come to an end’. I fully expect Daniel Craig to turn up and challenge Noel to a there is a way to decide the next Bond!

Oh no!! The chat gets excited! The tent is a crime scene after all ... the rocking horse’s head has fallen off! I wonder is this a ploy to threaten the judges Godfather style, with Paul returning to his hotel to find a rocking horse head in his bed.

Meanwhile, in the chat, the tone is equally disturbing, from baking disasters to angry cats. There are squeals on the chat as someone’s cat brings something to the gingham table for her star bake, a slug! This prompts posting of many online pictures of angry cats.

In case any of you are still wondering what happened in bake off, *spoiler alert* Jairzinho left the tent. Surely everyone must leave at some point...bathroom breaks...then sneak back in off-camera? Regardless, Jairzinho has left for the last time. Jurgen was the star baker for the second week in a row. However, the shock of the show was the headless horse did the trick, making it through to next week! Expect to see the horse, Sleepy Hollow style, haunting the tent, trying to sabotage Jurgen’s winning streak.

As the show concludes, the chat discovers there is bake off fan fiction (worthy of a whole article to itself)! I, however, am left with a shopping list of some questions:

1. How DO these people bake with flour and jam and manage to avoid wearing half of it?

2. When people ‘leave the tent’ ...for the toilet etc…do they have to tunnel back in past a patrolling Paul armed only with a whisk?

3. How long before Paul discovered the horse’s head Godfather style in his bed?

4. What exactly is a brandy snap and if there is no snap, Paul, is it just brandy?

Either way, this was the perfect mix, and all I can say is, see you next week for Bread week- I know the chat will rise (you thought I’d stopped) to the occasion!

Are you a Bake Off fan? If so, what are your thoughts on Shaney's write up of her first time watching the show...?

Written by Shaney Lloyd

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