Now we are well under way with The Great British Bake Off, it is time to weigh up the old with the new (pun very much intended!). I must say, I was so determined to hate the new version of the nation’s favourite show, being loyal to Mary and the lovely BBC, but it can’t be denied that the new series in all of it’s radical complications and differences, is looking like a good one.

Judges and presenters: 

Let’s begin with the most striking difference, the change in the presenters and judge. Replacing Mary Berry would have always been a difficult feat, but (please forgive me), Prue Leith is simply a fabulous judge. She has the same level of sophistication as Mary Berry; a clear knowledge of food and seems very friendly. In addition to this, she has a laugh like no other, make sure to pay attention to it next time, it’s a good ‘un!

The new presenters, Noel Fielding  and Sandi Toksvig, work well together. Having a well-known comedian as a presenter was a concern as the humour may have distracted from the baked delights and contestants, but the pair have managed to combine humour with their presenting duties. In my opinion they make a great team!

Adverts: 

The adverts are in. The Bake off is entirely different, it’s just not the same. But, it is a welcome change! With time to boil the kettle and crack open the biscuits, the ad breaks have provided ‘Bake Off’ fans with a great time to gather the refreshments (whether they are home baked or not!) Also, they may condense the show to omit the little section on the history of various bakes that appears as a filler towards the final few episodes. Who knows?

Contestants:

This year, the contestants are incredibly talented and it is so lovely to see a couple waving the flag for the Scousers! There is a great range of ages, expertise and tastes, making the group arguably, more interesting than ever! It may be early days to predict the winner, but we have already seen a handshake from Mr Hollywood, incredible technical skills and an incredible amount of decorative potential (any one else amazed by the BLT sandwich cake?).

The set:

It is a great relief that the tent and cooking spaces are the same as before. Could the Bake Off ever be the same if the tent was any colour other than white? It seems that Channel 4 really have taken into account the important, and arguably iconic, elements of the show and retained them for the 2017 series.

The challenges: 

For the first episode, the challenges have been particularly tricky, foreshadowing some interesting and dramatic ones for the future! I would tell all, but am scared to give it all away.

The conclusion: 

I am sorry to say, but Channel 4 may have won the show. With adverts to allow for much needed tea breaks during a show that requires a high degree of emotional involvement, we are more able than ever to critique and oooh and ahhhh to our hearts content. We have certainly lost a national treasure in the form of Mary Berry, whose very name reflects her knowledge on the subject, but Prue Leigth is proving to be a good fit for the shoes that she has to fill. Perhaps, if we are lucky, Mary Berry may make an appearance in the final, we will just have to wait, watch, and see.