The Great British Bake Off
When the good old Beeb was set up in 1922, it was of course, the main crux of the Reithian vision that one day, one fateful day, the British masses would fixate upon their television screens open-mouthed as a man creates a lion out of a granary loaf, that they would tut in disgust as someone ices a fondant fancy without a crumb-coat of buttercream first, and that they would cower behind a cushion as someone delicately constructs a fully functioning Buckaroo game out of choux pastry.
Much like membership to the European Union, a currency of any real value, a viable housing market for young people and the ice cream flavoured Chewit (RIP), Britain has had yet another pillar of its standing recently ripped from it, this time in the form of the BBC's Great British Bake Off. And before you pelt me with vol-au-vents (tempting as that sounds) and cry that GBBO will now be meringue nest-ing on Channel Four (soz), another public service broadcaster, I can't help but think this move will change the show beyond repair.
Firstly, the three new ad-breaks will inevitably give rise (not at all soz) to 3 excruciating cliffhangers; a knowing wink from rumoured host Richard Ayoade as someone accidentally adds cornflour to their royal icing or a swift cut to commercial as someone haphazardly places the final piece on their marzipan replica of a 15th century printing press. With Channel Four's track record, I do wonder if the contestants might also be forced to live together and be filmed 24 hours a day a la Big Brother, or, in the same vein as Naked Attraction, be obliged to bake entirely in the nude and then apologise for the shoddy state of their shortbread representation of the JFK assassination, but they were rather distracted by someone else's showstopper...
To distract myself from this great loss and, bearing the BBC's possible loss of audience in mind, I have come up with a few variations on the much beloved Bake Off format that I offer up to the Beeb in exchange for a few coffee eclairs and a date with Mel n Sue.
My suggestions include:
- The Great British Hake Off and The Great British Steak Off.
Amateur fishmongery and butchery competitions.
Judges: Literally anyone other than former restauranteur Gregg Wallace.
Challenges include: Creating a pack of pink wafer biscuits out of wafer thin ham. Finally providing a comprehensive explanation of what scampi actually is.
- The Great British Fake Off.
Competition for amateur designer clothing imitators and/or DVD pirates.
Judges: Literally anyone other than former market trader, Gregg Wallace.
Challenges include: Creating a range of Gucci wallets reminiscent of those widely available on package holidays to the Balearic islands circa 2001. Creating DVD copies of a recent cinema release- intense criticism for the recording of any popcorn rustling, instant disqualification for accidental footage of a fellow cinema goer texting their mum a desperate 'Film is shit. Plz pick up in 10 from front of Vue'.
- The Great British Drake Off.
Competition for impersonators of Aubrey Drake Graham.
Judges: Literally anyone other than 'Buttery Biscuit Base' rapper, Gregg Wallace.
Challenges include: Ensuring that literally anything you do is meme-worthy. Growing facial hair that makes you look bangin' but still has a hint of Beppe off Eastenders.
- The Great British Snake Off.
Competition for UK reptile handlers.
Judges: Literally anyone other than man who has probably once held a snake, Gregg Wallace.
Challenges include: Training your snake to actually climb a ladder. Recreating the iconic Britney routine for I'm A Slave 4 U (arguably much more difficult if your reptile of choice is, for example, a gecko).
- The Great British Oh for Pete´s Sake Of(f).
Competition for passionate and prolific swearers who want to change their ways.
Judges: Literally anyone other than man who is not called Pete, Gregg Wallace.
Challenges include: Competitors will face endless annoying tasks such as taking public transport whilst hungover, getting an extremely weighty recycling bin out onto the pavement just as the rubbish van arrives for the fortnightly round or calling an automated customer service phone line, all without being able to emit an expletive.
Hope some of these make the cut.