COLUMN | Fake Bake

I’ve developed a new addiction. Tuesday nights see me glued to people making cakes on BBC2. I know it’s ridiculous and that The Great British Bake Off has been going for years but I’m a late adopter with most things.

Technology is a prime example. I didn’t get a mobile phone till well into the 2000s and only then under duress. I don’t have an iPad, shudder at Kindles and am ‘appy being app-less. I don’t want more electronic devices taking over my life. I’m already bombarded with technology at work. I want note books made of paper, not tungsten and books that smell of fusty old age which crinkle in my hands rather than a little electronic square with a backlit display and a smell of electronics.

I also don’t understand cookery programs, generally. I hate watching the latest personality who seems to have cunningly developed their traits to order by a PR company, throwing herbs in the air and shouting in Mockney-Cockney, sporting some contrived eccentricity or preparing a meal in full evening dress whilst looking like they’re dying to munch down on your nether regions. The whole idea of watching someone cook bores me senseless. If I wanted to watch housework, I’d prefer a dusting show. Dusting is very soothing and purposeful. Until they bring back Fanny Craddock and her evil snobbish persona I intend to steer clear of cookery shows. I may wait a while unless they can clone Fanny, as she’s long dead.

It’s not Paul Hollywood either. He might be some people’s idea of a silver-fox but he’s not mine. I find him slightly irritating and although I don’t mind chunky or well built men, he doesn’t thrill me. Maybe it’s those elaborate collared shirts, maybe his constant moaning about the texture of cakes.

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I think the whole thing is schadenfreude. I want to see people fail. I want sunken middles and slanting icing which drips off precariously. I want to see the over confident ones hoisted upon their own petards and the annoying ones flustered in flour showers. I want burnt things, raw things and high anxiety. I’m not ashamed. It’s human to want to enjoy failure isn’t it? As long as it’s not your own, then failure is fine and dandy.

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Has it inspired me to bake a cake? Has it bollocks. I have a supermarket two minutes walk from my house. I’ll stick to enjoying the successes of people like the delightful Mr Kipling.

About the author: Chris Bridges
Chris is a theatre and book obsessed Midlander who escaped to London. He’s usually to be found slumped in a seat in a darkened auditorium.

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