Cake, culture and competition
The fourth series of the Great British Bake Off has just begun on British television. On this show, twelve people compete in making cakes, biscuits and bread, hoping to be crowned the best amateur baker in Britain. Over 5 million viewers watch the baking competition every week and people love to talk about it at school, at work and in the family home. So why is this reality TV programme so popular in the UK?
The contestants on the Bake Off are a group of people of different ages and occupations who all love to bake in their spare time. This means that the show attracts a varied audience and provides entertainment for all the family. Every week, people watch to find out which contestant will be given the title of ‘Star Baker’ for their excellent baking and who will be sent home from the competition.
The show also makes people laugh. The presenters of the programme are two comediennes, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins. They are famous for their silliness and are always making jokes with the bakers while they are preparing their cakes. There are often funny accidents in the kitchen when cakes do not go the way that the bakers planned. The comments from the judges are entertaining too: the professional baker Paul Hollywood sometimes gives harsh criticism whereas Mary Berry, a famous food writer, always finds something encouraging to say even if the cake is horrible!
The Great British Bake Off is very comforting to watch because it presents an idyllic view of British culture. The competition takes place in a tent decorated with colourful flags, in the grounds of an old English house. Home baking has always been an important part of UK culture and recently the trend for making cakes and bread at home has risen. For example, decorated cupcakes have become a huge craze in Britain and abroad. The recent economic recession made it necessary for many families to cut back on their spending but baking is an activity that can bring a lot of pleasure for very little money.
I don’t usually watch a lot of television but I watch The Great British Bake Off every week. I think that it encourages lots of young people like me to bake regularly. This week I made chocolate chip cookies and French macaroons!