A Great British Send Off

Last night saw the end of the Great British Bake Off on the BBC before its year’s sabbatical and reappearance, no doubt chocked full of adverts, on Channel 4.

And so it finished as Bake Off should – outside the tent to a vast array of friends, family and previously lost contestants with a massive picnic before the British summer rain arrived.  PE teacher Candice, engineer Andrew and home baker Jane lined up to hear the news that Candice, having won three Star Baker titles on her way to the final, had rightly come out on top.

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Candice’s ability to produce thrilling showstopper results as well as her pout, generous helpings of innuendo and semi-rebellious levels of ear piercings made her a deserved winner.  OK, maybe it was more to do with the cakes than the latter traits which were probably made her more of a favourite of mine than the bookies!

It was a great finish to both this year’s competition and the program’s run on the Beeb.  There were no disasters – no fire, no smoke, no melting or breaking or snapping… Just a bit of undercooked pastry on a sausage roll.  The final started with all three finalists walking in to the tent wishing each other luck.  We got the now famous “double handshake” from Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry grinning and winking her way through appraisals.  Puns from presenters Sue and Mel were flying around with gay abandon.

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Even the royal theme in celebration of the Queen’s 90th birthday this year and the Victoria sponge technical challenge simply added to the final’s quintessential Britishness.  I watch very little on the BBC meaning that my licence fee probably costs me more than my monthly subscription to Sky, but the British Broadcasting Corporation should, whatever the money involved, be broadcasting events of national significance.

They should have Wimbledon, the FA Cup Final, the British GP and I realise that those are all sporting events but Bake Off, a format that the BBC has nurtured since the start right up until last night’s record breaking viewing figures, has become as engrained in to national consciousness so as to merit the title of being a very British concern whose rightful place is on the country’s national broadcaster where it can maintain it’s full unblemished glory.

Channel 4, you now not only have the rights to broadcast a fantastic program.  You have become custodians of a very British treasure.  Treat it properly; this is a great responsibility.

Land of Hope and Glory, Mother of the Free,
How shall we extol thee, who are born of thee?
Wider still, and wider, shall thy bounds be set;
God, who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet!

Truth and Right and Freedom, each a holy gem,
Stars of solemn brightness, weave thy diadem.

Tho’ thy way be darkened, still in splendour drest,
As the star that trembles o’er the liquid West.

Throned amid the billows, throned inviolate,
Thou hast reigned victorious, thou has smiled at fate.

Land of Hope and Glory, fortress of the Free,
How may we extol thee, praise thee, honour thee?

Hark, a mighty nation maketh glad reply;
Lo, our lips are thankful, lo, our hearts are high!

Hearts in hope uplifted, loyal lips that sing;
Strong in faith and freedom, we have crowned our King!

Land Of Hope And Glory by Edward Elgar and A. C. Benson

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