After a delayed start due to the Olympics, The Great British Bake Off has finally returned to our screens in all of its quaint countryside glory.
Not much has changed from any of the previous seasons: Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood continue as judges (because if they didn’t, there would be complete anarchy), Mel and Sue’s terrible-but-brilliant – or rather, terribly brilliant – puns remind us what The Bake Off is all about and every dramatic moment harks back to that fateful night last year, when #freezergate ripped the nation apart.
A new series also promises a whole new batch of bakers to get to know over the next few weeks, through heart-felt vignettes and cosy shots of their home lives. While half the fun of The Bake Off is watching macaroons and soufflés being beautifully crafted, the other half is deciding which contestants you’ll love – and which you’ll loathe.
One hour is obviously not enough time to garner an accurate idea as to what the contestants will actually be like, but the stereotypes we have seen from earlier competitions were abundant in this first episode. For example, is it really The Bake Off unless we have someone who hand picks their ingredients from their very own farm? The answer is a resounding ‘No’, and so we say hello to nurse and mother-of-two, Kate.
We’ve also got 19-year old Michael, ready to make all students feel slightly inadequate as he juggles an Economics degree with some intense baking. Cheers for that, Michael. Andrew, on the other hand, is the one that sees baking, not as a fun past time, but rather as a feat of engineering. There he was, using a toothpick as a way of measuring the rise of his sponge; it’s only a matter of time until he whips out a protractor to ensure that the rocket he makes out of gingerbread is scientifically sound.
There’s also Benjamina, who seems to be the nicest, most uplifting person ever – the one you want to be best friends with. You can just imagine it: a rainy Sunday afternoon, popping on a Richard Curtis film and baking red velvet cupcakes with her. Jane is another one we’ve seen before – the slightly older, more experienced baker who knows exactly what she’s doing, even when the recipe in the technical challenge gives about three instructions.
It truly feels great to have The Bake Off back on our screens; it’s like a comfort blanket that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. This first week – cake week – has proven that, while the bakers are unique in their own way, their talent for baking unites them. Although, I can’t help but think: if this is the seventh series, and Paul has said “these are the 12 best amateur bakers in the country” each year, does that mean that these are now the 72nd – 84th best bakers in the country? In any case, if the first week is anything to go by, these next couple of months will certainly be a treat.
The Great British Bake Off is on BBC One on Wednesdays at 8pm.
Images sourced from The Telegraph and The Guardian. Featured image from waferboard via Flickr