Blessed be the fruit loaf, The Great British Bake Off is back. Tara Ward relives the best moments from episode one of the new season of the world’s kindest TV show.
We could all do with a warm and fluffy escape right now.
Last week I ate my way through more packets of Toffee Pops than is recommended by several leading nutritionists, so I need something slightly less diabetic to soothe my soul. I need tiny lambs bouncing around green paddocks, I need to be enveloped in a thick layer of marshmallow fondant, I need the hopes and dreams of 12 amateur bakers to nourish me and reassure me that everything is right in the world.
Gather all ye soggy bottoms and ladyfingers, because TV’s kindest show is back, and it’s more delicious than ever.
It’s season 9 of the Great British Bake Off, and another bunch of bakers are ready to wow us with their hot buns and cream horns. Hosts Sandi and Noel have a new wardrobe of wacky shirts to impress us with, while judges Prue and Paul want more imagination, more creativity, and more delicious things to eat. Tattoo it across my heart, Prue Leith, you’re preaching to the pastry choir! Also, Paul has a beard now.
The Great British Bake Off is a show about love, and I’m here to hoover up every tiny crumb. Let’s dive into some of the best moments from the season premiere, and prepare for your heart to warm like a Baked Alaska pulled from the freezer too soon.
1) Paul Hollywood changes everything about the GBBO but it’s fine (it’s not fine)
Look, there are rules about GBBO and one of them is that the first episode is always Cake Week. How do you make a season-opening joke about having a “moist clutch” if you’re not baking a cake that looks like a handbag?
This week was not Cake Week. It was bloody Biscuit Week, and that sound you just heard was the earth slipping off its axis. Biscuits in week one, as I live and breathe! Wait til Mary Berry hears about this shit.
2) There was weird science everywhere
Back to the Future? More like BAKE to the future. Also, Jon’s claim that “more people have been in space than in the Bake Off tent” blew my mind so much that I had to inhale 24 identical biscuits of my own choosing.
3) Sue’s fabulous cable tie necklace
Where can I get one? Asking for a friend.
4) Karen eats chips
It’s not Chip Week, Karen, but I applaud you. Everyone needs a Karen in their lives, someone so organised that they bring own snacks along to a food show. While the world burned around her, Karen chomped through that tiny bag of chips like nothing else mattered. “Do you want a crisp?” she asked Dan, as he jammed 48 Shrewsbury biscuits together using only the sweat dripping from his panicked brow. Dan did not want a crisp.
Crunch away, my queen. Crunch away.
5) Terry’s face biscuit
See you in my delicious nightmares.
6) Rahul is a national treasure
The contestants lost their shit at seeing the GBBO tent for the first time, but not Rahul. He’s a nuclear scientist, for crying out loud, you think he’s going to panic over baking three big biscuits cut into 24 identical pieces? “It’s not as stressful as writing my thesis, but quite there,” he said. Bless you, Rahul. Plays it cool in real life, plays it cool in a gingerbread work of art.
Also, I’d like to know more about this tiger’s backstory, thank you.
A spinoff for the tiger, please.
7) Manon is a baking genius
I mean, just look at it. Perfection on an easel made of gingerbread. I have trouble spreading peanut butter on toast, but Manon whipped up this divine 3D Biscuit Selfie with a thousand different layers of biscuits, plus she coloured in between the lines. Call the Louvre, call the police, it’s too matcha for us to take.
8) The scene where the judges decide who to eliminate
Watched by twelve lonely gingerbread heads.
9) When nobody was sure what Biscuit Dan had in his hands
Kim Joy: “What are you holding?”
Dan: “A baby.”
Kim-Joy: “Ah, I thought it was something else.”
Paul: “It looks like a massive prawn.”
10) If you don’t cry at the end then you are a pastry lion of emotion
Imelda wept at being the first person to leave the tent, while Manon cried tears of joy at winning Star Baker. All the feelings, all the biscuits. “I’m just glad I get to do it again next week,” said Bryony.
The Great British Bake Off, 7:30PM Tuesdays on Prime.
The Spinoff Daily gets you all the day's best reading in one handy package, fresh to your inbox Monday-Friday at 5pm.