10 Reasons I Love the Great British Bake Off (and I don’t even bake)

cheerful graphicThe Great British Bake Off is now in its 13th year, and I’ve been a fan from the start. In case you aren’t familiar with the show, you can catch it on Netflix where new episodes drop on Fridays. Each new season begins with twelve amateur bakers from Great Britain. Every weekend, they compete in three challenges. At the end of each show, one contestant is named Star Baker, and another is sadly sent home. At the end of the season, one of the four remaining bakers is declared the winner. So why do I, and millions of others, love the Great British Bake Off? Here are ten reasons, and not one of them has to do with dessert. 

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  1. Happy Colors ~ The show is filmed during the summer in an outdoor tent filled with simple and bright candy colors. Inside the tent there is an abundance of colorful bunting, sky blue refrigerators, and the infamous blue gingham tablecloths. Even the contestants, hosts, and judges wear colorful clothing. 
  2. Friendly Contestants ~ Unlike most reality shows, the contestants on the GBBO are kind and supportive to one another. We watch their friendships grow through the season and see their genuine sadness when one of them is chosen to go home. It’s just so nice to watch people being nice.
  3. Kind Mentors ~ Not only are the contestants friendly, so are the hosts. The current hosts, Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith, never demean, yell, or throw things like chefs we’ve seen on other cooking shows. If Paul Hollywood is particularly impressed with a contestant’s bake, he might give a firm handshake and wink one of his twinkling blue eyes.  
  4. Inspiring Creativity ~ Even though I don’t bake, I am always inspired by the contestants’ creativity. The weekly show-stopper competition results in amazing displays of baked goods fit for a grand party or special event. Even if it’s a baking fail, the creative effort is appreciated. 
  5. No Prize Money ~ One of the most delightful aspects of the show is that the grand prize is flowers and a simple cake plate. There is no prize money to bring out greedy, unsportsmanlike conduct. These amateur bakers have found a passion they love that has little to do with money. 
  6. Funny Hosts – The show’s hosts add slapstick humor, silly puns, and double entendres. The current hosts are Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas. They open the show with a corny comedy sketch like the one featuring Luke Piewalker and Princess Layercake a long time ago in a tent far, far away. Their pie crust was a little on the dark side. Ba-dum-dum.
  7. British Accents ~ Let’s be honest, it’s fun to listen to folks from across the pond. In addition to their accents, we learn a bit of slang like crack-on, chuffed, gutted, and innit. We also learn biscuits are cookies, pudding is dessert, and a soggy bottom is not a good thing. 
  8. Lighthearted ~ I usually find myself watching the latest episode of GBBO when I need a little pick-me-up. Unlike most television shows, it is innocent, lighthearted, and literally as sweet as pie.
  9. Nature ~ Since the show takes place in an outdoor tent, the show frequently cuts away to scenes of nature in the English countryside. Butterflies, bunnies, wildflowers, and blue skies add to the show’s playful and happy branding. 
  10. Memories with Mom ~ The number one reason I love the show is because of memories of watching it with my mom. When it came to television, we generally had nothing in common, so I was surprised when she liked the show. Although I’d seen them all before, we binge-watched eleven seasons together during the Covid pandemic. I miss watching new episodes without her now, but I can still hear her comments, which always make me smile. §

“On your marks, get set, bake!”
~ The Great British Bake Off