Long-term fans of the ‘Great British Bake Off’ finally got to see if Channel 4 had ruined the nation’s most beloved show, after it aired on Tuesday evening.
A handful of lucky journalists were given a sneak peek at the first episode of the new series at a special screening last week.
While HuffPost UK’s Matt Bagwell gave the rebaked version a big thumbs up in his review, we’re relived to report we aren’t the only ones who enjoyed it.
The new ‘Bake Off’ has been met with an overwhelmingly positive reaction from TV critics, who have all noted that while the on-screen line-up may have changed, it remains the same old show we all know and love.
Here’s what they had to say...
“What Channel 4 has done is stick a sponge Ladyfinger up to the critics. It turns out there’s more than a crumb of truth in all those headlines about the show looking, feeling and staying the same. Much like a technical challenge, Channel 4 have done the best they can with the ingredients they were given, and the result isn’t the complete soggy-bottomed disaster it could’ve been.”
“It is as far from the feared car crash as it could be. It is basically a carbon copy of the BBC version.
“Noel Fielding, Prue Leith, Sandi Toksvig and Paul Hollywood all walking into the same venue sounds like the start of a bad gag, but it actually makes good telly.”
“Despite having all that cash thrown at it, it hasn’t changed a bit. The tent is the same; the bunting is the same; the challenges are the same; even the pastel-hued mixing bowls are the same.
“Sure, the people – with the exception of steely-eyed Paul Hollywood – are different, but if you squint a little, they could be the same old familiar faces, making the same innuendo-laden jokes about ‘soggy bottoms’ and ‘firm buns’. Of course, this makes the programme impossible to hate. And I really, really wanted to hate it.”
“New presenting duo Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding arrived in a rainbow-striped hot air balloon and struck up instant chemistry. Fielding stole the show with his impish wit and sheer cheek, even eating a marigold in one surreal sequence.”
“On the evidence of the first episode, Channel 4 and Love Productions, who make the programme, have achieved the most difficult of all bakery-related metaphors – having their cake and eating it. The eighth series of the extreme patisserie challenge manages to seem both exactly the same but also just subtly different enough.”
“The front of camera team might have undergone a reshuffle but the Bake Off formula has survived the move to Channel 4 intact: weak gags, soggy innuendos, the ritual sacrifice of burnt offerings in the bin and those absurd, rococo-designed showstoppers are all present and correct.
“It might take time for Fielding and Toksvig to recreate Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins’s ‘chemistry’ but they quickly build an empathetic bond with this year’s 12 amateur bakers.”
“Noel is known for his off the wall comedy style, and Sandi has a dry, quick-witted humour. When you combine those two elements you get something really special and laugh out loud funny, and it’s refreshing to watch, given ‘Bake Off’ has historically been all about the tongue in cheek innuendo.
“Of course, innuendo is still a part of the show. There’s still plenty of cheeky-but-relatively-innocent innuendo involved, if that’s your thing, and it keeps Bake Off feeling like, well, ‘Bake Off’.”
″‘Bake Off’ has not changed. The rounds are identical. The bakers are equally as compelling. The tent is exactly the same and the comedy has a similar feel.
“The only differences are the new people – and the ad breaks.”
‘The Great British Bake Off’ airs on Tuesdays at 8pm on Channel 4.