The Great British Bake Off

Amazing show! I hear the makers are currently looking for contestants to do a similar themed series but with sewing and craft making, I really don't know how that is going to work.
Definitely the best show on TV at the moment but I'm not liking the Brendan shade. He HAS to win.

Was I alone in being surprised when James mentioned his girlfriend last night???

I do fine Sue annoying though.
What is the gay on gay hate for Brendan ABOUT? It's really worrying the number of young gay men on my Twitter and Facebook feeds spewing hatred for him.

Is it because elderly gay men rarely appear on TV outside the uber-confident entertainer model? Is it because gay men over a certain age are generally under-respresented. Do lots of gay people have a repressed fear of getting old that expresses itself in this kind of vitriol? Like we should all disappear in a burst of pink glitter on hitting the age of 35? Some people were calling him a paedophile for Christ sake. It really perplexes me...

Part of the downside of attracting a wider audience is that the competition inevitably comes to be talked about in terms of popularity over ability. I've been surprised by how many people watching this series and claiming to be "avid fans" (many of the Brendan-hating variety) haven't actually seen the series before, and express such surprise that this is actually the third series! Part of the original joy of Bake Off is that there might be people you disliked but would accept that they deserved to do well because they were, technically, better. But to a viewer more used to X Factor or Strictly than a BBC2 baking competition, this is an alien concept. While judging people striving for entertainment careers on their personality seems justifiable, calling someone that just wants to bake a cake well "vile" seems a bit out of order.

And as the show moves to BBC1 for series 4, I'll expect much of the same.

As for the final. John deserved to win on the final bake alone. It looked DIVINE. Brendan's, while technically good I'm sure, fell into a familiar trap of kitschness. James I simply think was out classed. His final bake was indicative of his entire approach; slapdash, inprecise, winging it; a hope that his label as a 'maverick' would compensate for his lack of ability. I always go the sense that Paul had bought into this image of James, but in the end, even he couldn't swallow it.
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Completely agree about Brendan. I don't understand at all what he's supposed to have done to be labelled 'vile'. He just baked cakes. We barely know anything about him to form any concrete views on his personality.

Whilst I think John did marginally better in the final he was very lucky to still be there and could have easily been voted off for about the last 3 weeks. I think the plan was to have James win which would have been perfectly acceptable but his 5 cake disaster made that impossible.

Brendan was easily the most accomplished and I have a vague concern that his failure to win has something to do with the reasons you mention above. Despite his skill it may not have been a popular win with the public which isn't what the show should be about.
My only negative about Brendan is that despite getting criticism on his aesthetic, he made no attempt to learn from that critique. In the end, like James, his final bake was typical of his approach. The red base (which made up half of the overall structure) with gingerbread men stuck on was kitsch, and not even edible kitsch.
Ugh, it's nothing to do with Brendan's sexuality as to why people dislike him. He came across as unbearably smug and up himself, and when he was criticised acted shocked and pissed off at them daring to question him.
Mary summed it up when she said if he can't practice it beforehand he sucks at challenges.
The shows are filmed at weekends. They know the theme of the next episode the week beforehand. They also know what the signature bake and showstopper bake requirements are. They ALL practice in the week leading up. If you don't, you simply aren't competing well.

And the point about you thinking him smug comes back to my previous point. There have been many contestants in the three series of Bake Off who have had questionable character traits, but the small(ish) community of twitter commentators and fans in previous years have been able to accept that these aren't traits on which the contest should be judged. There's been a change in some of the online buzz this series to being much more vicious about contestants as people rather than what they produce.


Yes, I had lots of Facebook friends last night going on about Brendan being a serial killer and cooking "fava bean and Chianti gateaux" etc.

You're obviously going to like or dislike some contestants but that's never what the programme is actually about - they don't edit to make people look good or bad like so many others. Nobody really has a "journey" or a DeadWife or anything.

I do think the result was slightly about popularity this time though, I don't think Brendan would be a 'popular' winner - he's not the sort who would sell his own cookbook or have his own TV show, I think they were looking for someone who had a long future ahead and could make a career out of it. Maybe they just though John should have that chance while he's still young. It did seem like they judged the entire result on the final showstopper but I'm sure I read something about Paul Hollywood saying they were pretty much ignoring the previous nine weeks and going solely on the final.
It's back!

I'm glad Ali stayed, he seems adorable.

Not a fan of Ruby at all, she's a whiner and useless. Some of those showstoppers looked amazing. I liked the squirrel one and the bear one.