GBBO v CIwBG.

It must be nearly September because we’re gearing up for the autumn run towards another bloody Christmas. I don’t want to think about the silly season just yet so I’ll concentrate instead on 135 minutes of last night’s TV. More accurately about 110 minutes, if you take out those nasty, horrible commercial breaks. If The Great British Bake Off and Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls were street fighters I wonder which one would win. Mmmmm, tricky question. The one who likes sugar and flour and ‘consistency’ or the one who’d eat his own shit if he was lost in the desert?

First let’s look at GBBO which, for all the guff and outrage turned out to be exactly the same as it was before, only with a few presenter tweaks and four dessert spoons of adverts, which must have annoyed quite a few viewers. Personally I quite liked the advert breaks. While they were on I managed to finish the washing up, put the dishwasher on, take out my contact lenses, shave and then empty the dishwasher when it had finished. Not bad going.

Meanwhile Paul Hollywood did his usual stuff, Prue Leith was no better or worse than Mary Berry and even better than that Sandy turned out to be vastly preferable to Sue Perkins. Or slightly less bad anyway. And then there was the strange man who didn’t really belong but fit in better than everyone else anyway. Good work Noel Fielding. Elsewhere most of the contestants tried to gurn and grimace and gleam their way into our crap TV memory banks for the near future.

Sadly the only one that really did that job was Peter, who I predicted to lose after the first round. I was correct. His cake that wasn’t supposed to look like a cake certainly ticked all boxes, but then it also managed to not look like what it was supposed to look like instead of looking like a cake and therefore looked like a disaster instead. Why make a cake that looks like a loaf of bread that you wouldn’t want to eat? All three of his efforts ended up resembling the kind of think you’d expect to see being chucked out by a heroin addicts relapse prevention baking class. Poor chap.

So GBBO overall? Not awful. Much the same as before but kills a bit more time. Damnation by faint praise. Or triumph by faint expectations. I didn’t watch CIwBG last year. This is primarily due to the fact that Bear Grylls is a bit of a prat. But the trick to his longevity as a TV presenter is in making sure he shows other people being even bigger prats. And so he did.

The celebrity cast was an interesting mix. The comedian Mark Watson, who I like, but who looked about as comfortable as a man in between being sexually assaulted by two bears. Actually he also looked a bit like one of Peter’s cakes. One of the chaps from Rizzle Kicks, a group that seems to have vanished in the last few years. Which is why one of them has been found stranded on a desert island. Various other virtually unidentifiable people. The worst of the bunch though was Ewan Thomas, formerly a successful runner but now ever so slightly going mad.

Last night he put on one of the most deluded and painful ‘Alpha Male’ performances in recent memory, but it didn’t take long for everyone to realise he was squeaking out of his arse. Incidentally you knew he was ‘Alpha Male’ because he and the rest of the team constantly referred to him as being very ‘Alpha Male’ though he was the only one that thought this was a good thing.

Almost every attempt he made at leadership and team building was about as effective as a wet noodle: at one stage he was insistent they should be building a happy house on the beach despite the fact they still didn’t have a water source and were gently shrivelling up under an equatorial sun. It didn’t help that his entire frontage was splattered with shite tattoos and that he started one sentence with “I don’t want this to sound sexist or anything but……”. And when did any sentence like that end well?

Anyway I guess that’s Tuesday evening sorted as the nights draw in and the duvets get swapped over. And who would win in that street fight? I don’t know about you but it really doesn’t matter and I’m pretty sure I don’t care, so why the hell I’ve just wasted an hour writing this crap is anyone’s guess.

G B Hewitt. 30.08.2017

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