A Recipe For Success

After the finale of what was another thrilling series of the Great British Bake-Off, Glenn Dunlea examines the different ingredients that make the show tick.

When Nadiya was announced as the winner of this years Great British Bake-Off, I couldn’t have been happier. A firm favourite of mine from the very beginning, everything about Nadiya was simply perfect, from her extremely expressive facial expressions, to her beautiful and breath-taking bakes.

Drawing in an average of 13.4 million viewers during the final episode of this years series, I find myself asking just why so many people are interested in, of all things, a baking contest. Just what is it about the Bake-Off that draws in the viewer and doesn’t let them go until that glass cake stand has been passed on to the victor? There is no one solid answer, but there are definitely a few stand-out factors.

  1. Mary Berry


Mary Berry is God. Or at least Mary Berry is one of the greatest domestic goddesses on this planet. Although she would generally only be recognisable to Irish audiences through the Bake-Off, for decades Berry has been a stalwart of British cooking, having published over 75 cookery books so far in her career and having had numerous television series’. Mary Berry is the epitome of the worlds greatest grandmother. She’s chic (Mary owns a range and breadth of bomber jackets that would make Kelly Doherty green with envy), fun, and knows how to bake some top-notch cakes. What more could you want?

Also, if you didn’t feel the need to leap through you television screen on Wednesday night to give Mary Berry a hug when she started to tear up, then I can confirm that there is a very special place in Hell with your name on it.

Mary Berry Tear

2. Mel and Sue

Mel & Sue

Mel and Sue provide a healthy dose of comic relief during each episode of the Bake-Off. Never above a saucy innuendo, throughout the history of the show they have provided some of the wittiest baking one-liners ever heard by man.

One also cannot help but wonder if each bake would be significantly larger were Mel and Sue not on hand to assist with taste-testing.

3. Paul Hollywood


Everyone loves a villain, and what better villain than Paul Hollywood. With his frosty white hair and piercing blue eyes, Paul’s somewhat startling resemblance to a white-walker can most definitely be taken as a reflection of his character. Always on had the critique and criticise, Paul strikes fear into the hearts of bakers everywhere.

(To be quite honest I’m sure he’s absolutely lovely in real life, but I’m hardly going to say that here am I).

Paul Hollywood

4. The Tent

Great British Bake Off Christopher Bowles WP_20131023_14_37_05_Pro

Tell me honestly: as a student, has there ever not been a time when you have looked at the tent and asked yourself why this, a plastic sheet in a field, is still more attractive than your student accommodation?


5. The Contestants


Love them or hate them, it just wouldn’t be the Bake-Off without them. Who could ever forget Diana, the woman that instigated bin-gate by taking Iain’s Baked Alaska out of the freezer on one of the hottest days of the year? Or how about The Missing Trifle, when contestant Deborah managed to somehow use someone else’s (better) custard in her trifle? Shocking.



2 thoughts on “A Recipe For Success

  1. LOL – love it! Poor Diana, although it was rather silly (mean? vindictive??) of her… hehe. And I love Mel and Sue. Such a good show, pure enjoyment. Oh and I loved Nadiya from the start too. 🙂


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