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The Great British Bake Off - Season 5 (2014)

For the baking enthusiast, The Great British Bake Off Season 5 started airing last night. It's a more decorous take on the cooking competition format, so if you have an aversion to reality TV, you still might give it a try.

First episode tends to be a little crowded, because they're trying to introduce the contestants, but they don't go overboard with back story.

Worst line of the night (from host Sue Perkins): "There are two ways to make a Swiss roll: first - you push Roger Federer down a hill, second...."

You can watch on You Tube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWphy...

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  1. Watched by 7.2 million which is a massive audience for a cookery programme. The ingredients industry will be rubbing their hands together in glee that it's back. Havnt watched it yet but have it recorded on the TIVO.

    1. I really liked the US version of this (though I could have done without Marcella), and was disappointed when it was canceled. Does anyone know if there is a station airing this in the US (or maybe re-runs of past seasons)?

      7 Replies
      1. re: charmedgirl

        Try:
        http://www.free-tv-video-online.me/pl...

        (Sometimes you get a popup about needing to download a video player to view - you don't need to download anything, ever.

        )

        You can get past seasons there too. Try watching Season 4 (2013) first - some really great talent there, and you might be surprised about who eventually wins.

        Best place to watch is the BBC's iPlayer. But you will need to use a proxy server since iPlayer is geo-blocked to the U.S.

          1. re: jimonyc

            Yeah, it won't let me watch without downloading something. I also got a separate pop up requiring me to register and give credit card info (while assuring me I wouldn't be charged; it was only for purposes of verifying my location). I'm not comfortable doing either of those, so I guess no Great British Bake Off for me. Thanks anyways!!

            1. re: charmedgirl

              I watch this show, masterchef australia and my kitchen rules on prime wire.
              http://www.primewire.ag/tv-2742317-Th...
              I used the 'the video' link and it worked. You have to play around and it bounces around but you get used to it. Press Proceed to video and never download anything.
              Enjoy!

              1. re: DowntownJosie

                This one worked!!! Thanks Downtown Josie!!

                I think I like this version even more than the US. ETA: not that I'm surprised by that.

                P.S. Thanks for the rec jimonyc; I started with season 4.

                1. re: charmedgirl

                  I just finished watching episode 2 of season 5 (Biscuits) and I had to come here straight away because I had to tell someone how much I love this show. I love it! It just makes me happy when I watch it.

                  1. re: charmedgirl

                    I know. I love it too- no girls in high heels, no screaming just pure entertainment for the baking enthusiasts(nerds!)

        1. It's a rare show that gets the balance right - and this is a good thing. Two technical judges (Paul and Mary) that really know their stuff, plus two hosts (Sue and Mel) who add some fun and slightly risqué humour to soften the competition. The back stories add just a little bit of interest without restarting to tales of tragedy and tears.

          In many ways this mix reflects the real world for most normal people and that's why it resonates so well with such a big audience. People want to do things well, they like a bit of warmth and humour, and most people don't have tragic lives that cause them to burst into tears all the time.

          I hope other networks are unpicking the formula and recognise that they don't need fake competitions, egotistical judges and tear and tantrums every week to make it compelling TV. Nice people trying hard to do things well and excel, in a nice supportive environment works and gets a good audience. The BBC took a gamble with the four presenters, looking at their innate skills rather than headline grabbing names or cartoon character type media personalities. May they long continue to do so.....the UK's master chef still follows a similar formula.

          4 Replies
          1. re: PhilD

            I reckon that, as previous series, they seem to have got a good, if predictable, mix of "ordinary people" - older woman who has been baking for 50 years, young studenty type, ethnic minority, couple of blokes for you to guess which of them will turn out to be gay, bloke with job who you're surprised can also bake, etc. Works well as there's obvious effot to have selected "real people" who just want to make nice cakes - even though there'll be a career in it for the winner (and, if last year is anything to go by, a probably better career for a loser).

            1. re: Harters

              As far as 'ordinary people', I think TV viewers here in the U.S., where reality TV casting is skewed decidedly young, would be startled by the age distribution of the bakers. (My experience is that 69-year-olds exist in real life.) For those that care average age of the contestants is 43, which was driven down by the 17-year-old contestant.

               
              1. re: jimonyc

                Whereas, here, baking has been seen as generally an old person's thing and it really is one of the great successes of the programme that there are young people as contestants and I'm sure that's contributed to its runaway success.

            2. re: PhilD

              I think your point about 'balance' is spot on. On the face of it, Mel and Sue's roles as co-hosts may appear to be trivial, but imagine the show without them. There is very little interaction between the contestants, and Paul and Mary tend to be very clinical in their approaches to judging. An hour of bakers sifting flour and judges going on about 'soggy bottoms' might be a bit much. Mel and Sue, for their part, have said that they see their primary role as calming down the contestants.

               
            3. And then, from last night's episode, the niceness goes out of the window.

              15 Replies
              1. re: Harters

                I'm truly at a loss - not the slightest acknowledgement of a certain person's role in the controversial doings. (Trying to avoid spoilers, here.) Not that I necessarily think the final decision should be any different.

                1. re: jimonyc

                  I have had to warn my partner (who has not yet seen the programme) not to look at the news online, as the story is all over the BBC website

                  Yes, that's the BBC. A world reknowned government run broadcast news organisation, funded by public subscription, having a story about a baking competition on its news front page. You couldnt make it up if you tried.

                  1. re: Harters

                    And further news literally just out on the BBC

                    Definitely contains spoilers, if you have not seen last night's episode!!!

                    1. re: Harters

                      The mother of all spoilers, I would say.

                      1. re: jimonyc

                        Without wishing to give any clues, but it makes me wonder if there may still be another surprise next week, related to this week ;-)

                        1. re: Harters

                          Yeah. The same thought ocurred to me.

                          And now we're starting to hear stories from all quarters - many of them contradictory.

                          Bottom line: the whole thing was mis-handled from the onset, i.e., during the actual production of the episode. What a mess.

                          1. re: jimonyc

                            Nah. I think the editing of the show was entirely deliberate to stoke up contraversial publicity. I see the latest is that the "victim" is disputing statements made today about timing, etc.

                            In other British news of perhaps more relevence, a Member of Parliament has switched parties, giving the UK Independence Party its first MP and there is to be a wide ranging inspection of childrens services in Rotherham, following yesterday's damining report about the enormity of the child sexual abuse scandal in the town.

                            Oh, and there's still discussion on the local boards about yesterday's announcement by the Good Food Guide of its Top 50 restaurants. Always a good talking point. Added to this year for the first time with its list of Top 50 pubs.

                      2. re: Harters

                        I love spoilers and read it all to my recuperating husband who has been very upset.

                  2. re: Harters

                    Well, this is a huge disappointment. I have watched all previous series avidly and learnt a lot (it is entirely due to the Bake Off that I make bread once a week). But part of the joy was knowing that at no point was there going to be too much drama. It's a tough old world and we all like something kind. However, the TV listings told viewers in advance that something dramatic (in bake off terms) would happen so already it went from comfy viewing to wondering what would happen when. I am sure it is entirely due to the editing, edited to stir up a bit of controversy at the expense of two contestants. And sure, it's only a programme about baking, and there's a lot more important going on in the world, but that why we need the old Bake Off. Sniff.

                    1. re: Harters

                      Thank you all for working so hard not to spoil this! Obviously, I have not seen this episode yet, but absolutely will be looking tonight to see if it's up on any of the bootleg websites. (Downtown Josie, let me know if you find it first!)

                      I am so curious, but so so saddened to read this conversation... if it is making so much news in the UK, I can only think it must have been pretty bad. This is my happy show! I don't want it to be ugly!

                      1. re: Harters

                        Sounds like the move from BBC2 to BBC1 may have resulted in changes to the show. Many feared it would be "sexed up" with manufactured drama for the more mainstream channel, sounds like those fears are justified.

                        1. re: PhilD

                          I think you may be right, Phil. Obviously, if the director had not wanted matters to develop, then the crew could have intervened to ensure it didnt. The fact that there has been "drama" is made all the more interesting because this is contest about making cakes.

                          1. re: Harters

                            Ruby (last years "controversial" contestant) has a good opinion piece on it in the Guardian - SPOILER ALERT - http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-rad...

                            As aside note I do enjoy Ruby's weekly baking column as she had some good and interesting non-traditional ideas. Her idea of adding pepper to cakes is very intriguing.

                            1. re: PhilD

                              I can understand how Ruby empathises here. Last year, she was certainly victim of what I assume was deliberate editing to make her appear the "flirty pretty one".

                        2. re: Harters

                          Just watched. I was sort of surprised to see which contestants were involved; also agree it was surprising that there was no mention during the judging, send off, final commentary etc. of the one contestant's part in what happened. Will probably go read some of the press now.

                        3. I'm assuming that some folk are watching this outside the UK (by whatever means you manage that). Can you also access "Bake Off - Extra Slice" - the 30 minute programme on Friday evening?

                          If so, then this week's should be a cracker and I wonder just how much of the story will be discussed.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: Harters

                            Extra Slice is usually available from whatever source people are using here in the U.S. But I usually don't watch it; the show's format needs a lot of work (and Jo Brand is no Dara O Briain).

                            Will definitely watch this week, but then again everyone's already talked to the press. I'm expecting we'll hear from the cleaning crew any moment.

                            Not sure if there's anything new that could be disclosed. But will be interesting.

                            1. re: jimonyc

                              Amazingly, the story hit "Newsnight" which is our late evening current affairs programme on BBC2.

                              The "victim" was on and was asked to respond and said we'd have to watch next week's show - which may mean you and I are guessing right about a "new shock".

                              Whatever happens, this household will continue to cheer for Luis. Gotta support the local boy.

                              1. re: Harters

                                A side note... I downloaded an app called HOLA and now I can watch favourite programmes from America. It's amazing. I suppose Americans can use the same thing to watch our things here.

                                1. re: zuriga1

                                  Haha! You actually want to watch our American programming? (I actually watch way more British programs than U.S.)

                                  1. re: jimonyc

                                    Zuriga is American - although I see we've managed to teach her how to spell "favourite" correctly. LOL.

                                2. re: Harters

                                  It's really out of control now. I have a food/dining news feed on mobile which uses a lot of UK sources, and it's been non-stop stories on this, including what you just mentioned. It's now pretty obvious where this is all leading for next week.

                                  And just as last season had stronger women contestants, this season it seems the men are stronger, the obvious ones being Luis and Richard (the pencil guy). Luis is an interesting character in his very understated way; this season's Frances, maybe.