John Whaite's Message to the GBBO Finalists
22 Oct 2013
The 2012 Great British Bake Off champion John Whaite has some words of wisdom for the 2013 finalists.
As a contestant on last years The Great British Bake Off, I am well aware of what this years bakers will have had to go through.
It will have all started back in Spring for them, when they will have spent their entire weekends - yes full time jobs continue - travelling down to Bristol to film rather long, and extremely tiring days. And let us not forget that this is after months of interviews, auditions, and travelling to-and-fro, slotting the Bake Off into every day life.
All of the 13 bakers deserved their places in that tent of baking wonder. They had all worked very hard getting there and battled for their places against thousands of other applicants.
The Great British Bake Off, whilst a reality TV show, is primarily about talent. Of course we form our favourites and back them from day one, but what I love mostly about the Bake Off is that British sense of pride. And that pride isn't a notion contrived through the production company via the use of perfectly positioned pastels and bunting; but rather it is a real, tangible sense that emanates from a show, which reminds our nation of how important and entrenched it's baking heritage is.
Although the physically strenuous part of making the bake off for the bakers is over, the emotional strain is only just beginning. After spending 10 weeks filming a show and putting all of your energy into that, to simply stop and keep quiet for months is an utter anti-climax. You feel as though you will be prepared for the press and hype when Bake Off airs, but actually you could not prepare for it. The gravity of peoples' comments - both kind and cruel - is amplified beyond comprehension, and the constant buzz is exhausting. Though fair enough, of course, we bakers put ourselves through that and choose that very path.
Why though, should that path be littered - rather infested - with hatred and words that have no positive promotion or constructively critical meaning? It saddens me that a small minority of Bake Off viewers can be so disgusting about the bakers who are simply working very hard at something they love.
I'm pleased of course that Bake Off is so emotive, and that it promotes public involvement. When that involvement however, scorns, unreasonably scrutinises and slanders the involvement of the bakers, it truly is an absolute shame.
I'm giving my very best wishes to all three of this years deserved finalists, who are all in the current televised position because of their hard work, determination and perseverance. Whichever of them wins will deserve it. I have been asked whether I'm willingly going to pass on the crown and I have to answer: of course I am. Not only will I be supportive of the new winner and will be here for them when they need first hand advice or simple support, but all 13 of the bakers need to know that I am here, as are most of my companions from season 3. It gets tougher, it really does, but it also becomes much more fun.
To the finalists: I know you'll all be watching the final this evening, probably with your heads behind pillows, but whatever position you come, you have already achieved remarkable things.
So come on Britain: just enjoy our bake off and appreciate the talent therein.
John Whaite Bakes is out now!