And relax and breathe. After a somewhat unwelcome delay for some sporty South American thingy, we can now settle down to ten weeks of intense tent that is the very essence of summer. Inhale the evocative aromas – buttery vanilla, warm sweet cinnamon and the unmistakably pungent scent that is sheer panic. Sorry, that’s probably me; an embarrassing reaction still brought on by the sight of bunting.
Our merry band of berry-fresh new bakers stride into the tent with cheerful confidence, blissfully unaware that guts will wrench and stomachs will churn. Within thirty seconds, panicking Rav has cut his finger and the blue plasters are out. These are the perils of home bakers unaccustomed to unfamiliar appliances, clocked confections and an ever-present film crew. I feel an immediate empathy – been there, done that, worn the thumb guard.
The confines of TV can barely contain character actress lookalike Val, who fizzes hyperactively around the tent like a young Constance Chapman, creating a drama out of a tricky lid and banging her bum on a tray of crystallised primroses. She claims that by listening to her cakes she can hear them singing ‘not ready, not ready’. I wonder if TV is really ready for Val.
Jane has a look of friendly familiarity – did she do a series of The Great British Sewing Bee? Possibly distracted by the memory of a perfectly concealed zip, she forgets to include ground almonds in her lemon and poppy seed cake and decides to start again.
Nerves are getting the better of most bakers but self-admittedly ‘laid back’ Selasi is the exception – a man so cool he wears a tea towel as a scarf. If you pointed out that it’s not the most hygienic of accessorising I’m sure he’d simply shrug. Next week, the oven glove boxers?