I have a new obsession. I've become addicted to an English show from BBC2, "The Great British Bake Off". It's a sort of Masterchef idea, however all of the cooking challenges are related to baking. It's not on tv here so I've been watching streamed on Tube+. (It does seem to come and go a bit, the other day the show disappeared from the site altogether, only to reappear.)
The format includes Technical Challenges, where they are all given a recipe and have to replicate it for a blind judging. It also includes Signature Bakes, where they present their own recipes on a given theme, and Show Stoppers which are spectacular set pieces. Baking is an exact science as well as an art, so the contestants are allowed to refer to their own recipes, and I gather they are vetted somehow to ensure they are not just cooking something from a book by Nigella.
This show is kind of adorable, and so well mannered. All the contestants are unique characters, and so terribly polite. This is not the cut and thrust of normal competitive reality tv. (One of the contestants is even a Vicar's wife!) The hosts Sue Perkins (of "Supersizers Go...") and Mel Giedroyc are both comedians and keep the show light and fun, while woofy 'silverback' chef Paul Hollywood and British baking legend Mary Berry bring lifetimes of technical nous.
But the boys. Oh the boys. I'm a total sucker for a sweet British lad, and this show has a trio of them.
James, tall Scottish cutie who plays double bass, loves a Fair Isle knitted vest, bakes like a man with the skills of someone twice his age (he's 21!), and blushes furiously whenever he is complimented. They slayed me when they showed him walking his two dogs along the Scottish seaside. If only he had a kilt on, then I would have fallen down dead. Completely.
Stuart. Oh Stuart, Stuart, Stuart. PE teacher, rugby player Stuart. I have several fantasies involving muddy rugby kit, a locker room and a beautifully made Treacle Tart for afters. Enough said.
John. Shy, tall, cutie John. John (and possibly James) might be the gays of the competition, but then I'm only speculating. John seems like a 'nice lad' as my mother would say. Self deprecating, a bit shy seeming, a bit serious, and very well mannered. Quite adorable really.
Sweet, sexy boys and cake. What's not to love?