Get the Great Kiwi Bake Off judge on the Calm app now, begs Alex Casey.
Once a week, I drift off on the couch while watching The Great Kiwi Bake Off. It’s not because I’m bored – nothing thrills me more than watching a chocolate-covered balloon explode all over a middle-aged man – but because judge Peter Gordon’s soothing voice without fail lulls me into the land of nod. While the mythical Sandman was known for sprinkling magic sand in people’s eyes to make them sleep, all I need is that dusting of icing sugar in the opening titles and Peter Gordon going “Mmm-mm” re: a crêpe and I am set adrift on melatonin bliss.
Peter Gordon’s voice reminds me of a wise old cat who gives out advice in a children’s film. It has a distinctly Eeyore base with a dash of Pooh bear, as slow as molasses and as light and airy as a ghoul muttering incantations over the Queen’s coffin. “Mmm… coconut and pineapple,” he cooed during the drizzle cake challenge. “Mmm… beautiful flavours,” he mused of a potato top pie (while also, importantly, wearing a kilt). “Mmm…” he said during the first technical bake. “The crème pât,” my eyelids growing heavy, “…is spread.”
Maybe it’s not just Gordon’s voice that makes me so relaxed, but the fact that The Great Kiwi Bake Off is one of the only non-stressful reality shows left on our shores. As Duncan Greive wrote earlier this week, the genre has been having a really “bad bake” recently thanks to disastrous finale flops, shocking contestant charges and revelations that entire scenarios are completely fake. Even over on Celebrity Treasure Island, Dame Susan Devoy is breaking out in hives from the stress. But when Peter Gordon devours a “loosey goosey” bit of chocolate cake, everything else melts away.
I believe there is a potential business opportunity here for the entrepreneurial chef, author, philanthropist and TV host. The celebrity sleep podcast industry is booming, inviting anyone looking to catch some zzz’s to listen to a VIP read them a charming bedtime story. You can fall asleep listening to Stephen Fry reading about fragrant fields of lavender, Anne Hathaway reading The Wizard of Oz, or even British Bake Off legend Dame Mary Berry herself reading a charming tale about a very proper tea party. (Harry Styles has a good one too, but unfortunately now it just reminds me of Don’t Worry Darling and I sit bolt upright screaming.)
Now that The Great Kiwi Bake Off is sadly coming to an end for another year, I would very much like Peter Gordon to consider recording a sleep podcast for the wired Great Kiwi Bake Off fan demographic. It doesn’t even need a lot of thought put into it – he could just read out pages from one of his cookbooks, he could read from the phonebook, he could even read out this very article in a meta twist with more layers than a mille-feuille made with seawater.
It’s what the people (person (me)) want.
The Great Kiwi Bake Off screens Thursday nights on TVNZ 1 and TVNZ+.