I discovered the Great British Bake Off last year: spending a week away with a friend she insisted (quite rightly) that we had to watch the last episode of the series. I settled down to finish a pair of socks. But the socks languished as I was inexorably drawn into the drama.
I’m not sure why I never got into the programme during one of its previous incarnations: I love the Sewing Bee, for example, which borrows the format, and Mary Berry is everyone’s favourite grandma. And I’d enjoyed a baking programme Paul Hollywood had done a few years ago. I think I was just a bit suspicious of the hoo-ha that surrounded it. But by the end of last years final, I was hooked and weeping along with everyone else when Nadiya won.
This year’s is in its early stages – my husband (who is a keen Sewing Bee fan) and I are just getting conversant with all the names and characteristics of the contestants: Andrew and his blush, Selassie and his easy-going or dangerously casual approach, Val (annoying or loveable? Still not sure) and Candace and her lipstick. So I was upset to hear that the Beeb was losing it to C4 due to an unseemly squabble about cash. Sigh. It always seems to come down to money in the end doesn’t it?
So when GBBO heads off to C4 (and most likely the sunset of its TV life) what could replace it? I have a suggestion….
How about the Great British Knit Off – GBKO has a ring to it already. We can have technical challenges with the perfect cable or picked up stitches for a crew neck. Themed showstoppers with particularly hazardous dropped stitches or lace, a sock heel innovation that changes the world or a game changer woolly hat. The contestants would be experienced old hands, plucky youths and the occasional ex-army chap who confesses a love of intarsia. I can see it now……What do you think?