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'Bake Off', Reviewed By Someone Who's Never Seen Bake Off

A reviewer who is none-the-wiser about Bake Off's new look, because he's never seen a minute of it until now.
Credit: Channel 4/GBBO

  • Noel Fielding, along with Sandi Toksvig, the singular woman allowed on Dave, arrive via hot air balloon. He is dressed like a nightmarish Victorian train conductor. This is the last time we will see him happy.
  • Noel introduces "old blue eyes" and I see Paul Hollywood for the first time. He looks exactly like a person called Paul Hollywood should look: a disgraced former cruise ship magician.
  • Noel sounds like he has been very heavily sedated, almost as though they've given him a horse tranquilliser, told him that this series of The Mighty Boosh is going to be set in a competitive baking competition and hoped for the best.
  • The contestants are all normal and ordinary and vaguely diverse in a "we're ordering pizza – make sure we get one margarita so everyone's happy" kind of way.
  • Noel is losing his mind. You can sense he wasn't prepared for this.
  • Everyone has started the first challenge, which is to bake a cake.
  • There is a man who really, really loves coconut. I want this man to win for the pure, untainted singularity of his vision.


  • "Baking time for a fruity cake can be a complete mystery," Noel narrates, his very essence draining out of him. He is narrating as though he is trying to talk someone down from a building.
  • There is another man who uses a computer in his job, like pretty much all people, but for some reason thinks this is part of his personality now, and has used a spreadsheet to decide on the ratio of ingredients.
  • I want this man to lose.
  • Noel says things like "crystallise the citrus rind". It appears to be dawning on him that this might not be a surrealist comedy after all.
  • Noel tells a contestant he loves them after about four minutes of baking.
  • One contestant has an intro video that revolves around how into sport he is, and it all looks really, really, extremely rugby lad, until he catches a line-out and shouts "YES!" like he has never in fact played the sport of rugby ever in his entire life.
  • None of the contestants are tampering with each other's cakes or altering the oven timers or anything. There is no fuckery going on whatsoever. It's like they don't even understand it's a competition.
  • You know when you go and watch a film like Finding Nemo and the classification certificate comes up and everything is fine apart from some "mild peril", and you've always wondered what "mild peril" actually felt like? Well, this is it. People trying desperately to bake things for a lady named Prue or they don't get to be on television any more
  • No one is touching the myriad cakey euphemisms flying around. Noel is visibly shaking with panic and fear.


  • "It's nice that, Flo," says Paul Hollywood, winking, smirking, licking his lips, ready to risk it all for this elderly woman with the lovely citrus.
  • The man who loves coconut has, apparently, baked a cake that is consequently described as "coconut flavoured". He's gonna win this I can already feel it.
  • "It's just a bit boring, that," says Paul Hollywood, a man who has dedicated the entirety of his life to baking and talking about baking.
  • "I'm not convinced the whole thing works," says Paul Hollywood, a man whose face, radioactive orange, exists centimetres away from his hair, which looks like scrunched up tin-foil.
  • One of the contestants appears to climax after shaking hands with the man described above.
  • Yan, who is easily the best contestant other than the man who loves coconut, calls her cake – which can only be described as a lumpy mess – the "Peter Beardsley of cakes".
  • The next task is to make mini-rolls, and this is much better as before they were putting things like rhubarb and flowers in their cakes. At least now there is some precedence set.
  • One contestant has correctly deduced that what he needs to do is make a big swiss roll and then sort of cut it up to form smaller, tinier swiss rolls, therefore achieving the requisite state of the mini-roll.
  • All of the contestants are given instructions on how to make the mini-rolls but treat these instructions as though they are hieroglyphics. One contestant immediately covers his instructions in chocolate
  • THE ONLY GOOD PART OF THE SHOW – Prue explains the science behind the mini-roll; something I have always wanted to know. Thank you, Prue.
  • The mini-rolls everyone makes look a bit like the smiling poo emoji.
  • Nobody bothers trying to put their shitty disaster cakes next to someone else's photo. It's clear these people would not do well in a war.


  • "I love the white lines," Paul Hollywood says and Noel's eyes light up, if only for a moment.

  • It's time for the final task, which is completely different from the two tasks so far. It is to make some sort of cake again.
  • One contestant opts to make a champagne bucket cake and tells the story of how a nightclub bouncer thought it was an actual champagne bucket and didn't let her in.
  • Maybe make a "didn't happen" cake next lmao.
  • Noel listens to a contestant tell him her cake is going to be quite moist and he tells her that he is looking forward to seeing her moist clutch. For a second, something like the thrill of life flashes in his eyes once again.
  • For some reason Hans Zimmer is doing the music and the peril becomes even milder.
  • Most of the contestants are really struggling with the concept and are just making cakes that look like other food. Two contestants make cakes that look like bread, which means they made an illusion cake that looks a lot like a plain brown cake.
  • "Time is not an illusion!" Noel shouts across the gazebo, visualising his own mortality. "No more touching your illusions!" Noel screams, collapsing into himself like a black hole.
  • Julia, from Russia, makes a Russian doll cake and says, "It looks Russian, like me."
  • I'm not sure but I think this woman may actually be from Russia.
  • Paul Hollywood, a man who eats cake for a living, calls the Russian Doll cake the fattest he has seen. "Like a proper Siberian," Julia replies, and obviously nobody in the gazebo knows if this is an accurate or sarcastic comment on the general Siberian population. Everybody bursts into laughter.
  • I have just googled "levels of obesity in Siberia compared to the Russian population as a whole" and am none the wiser.
  • Somebody presents a cake that looks like a sandwich.
  • "THAT IS STUNNING" – Paul Hollywood, on seeing the cake that looks like a sandwich.
  • Stephen wins "star baker", phones his mum, cries a bit and just generally acts like a wally.
  • The guy who loves coconut is kicked out as I predicted.
  • Everyone hugs him and tells him he was great and they all lie to his face.
  • I'm not watching this again.