The Great British Bake Off hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins tell TV Times magazine what it’s like to have the best job in TV…
So, yet again you’ve got the nation gripped in a Bake Off frenzy…
Sue: “Who’d have thought the formula for a hit show was just making bad double entendres and saying, ‘BAKE!’ in a high voice…”
Mel: “…wearing pastel blazers. Marvellous isn’t it? We’re addicted too. ‘I’m Mel and I’m a Bakeaholic.’”
You must have the best job on TV tasting all those bakes…
Mel: “I know. We eat everything in that tent. Mixture that’s cooked, mixture that’s not cooked, toppings, crystallised ginger…”
Sue: “…the contestants’ sandwiches, some of the carpet tiles, cupboards, anything.”
Probably not the best job for your waistline though?
Mel: “I start off vowing to be strict with myself but episode four’s the tipping point.”
Sue: “Mel’s better than me. She eats in moderation whereas I launch into the cake and feel genuinely toxic and nauseous within 15 minutes.”
Mel: “I’m as bad. You had to pull me away from that mocha meringue…”
Sue: “…yes, just before I fell into that key lime pie and ate my way out of it.”
Do you try and lose weight beforehand?
Sue: “No. My weight’s been going up and up since Bake Off started. A sharp gradient. I just embrace it.”
Mel: “It’s a slow build. We’ll be the size of Geoff Capes in two years.”
Sue: “With the same facial hair probably.”
Mel: “But I think it’d look odd if we didn’t enjoy eating everything.”
Sue: “You could find a million presenters in better shape than us, but they wouldn’t relish the bakes like we do.”
We can’t help noticing that it seems to take Paul and Mary ages to choose Star Baker each week…
Sue:” It’s a nightmare! Because the bakers are so good; they’ve been knocking out bi-tonal molten sponges since week one. We have to have full-on conferences sometimes, working it out with maths equations…”
Mel: “It once took five hours. It was like waiting for a new Pope to be announced. We were all praying.”
Sue: “I kept bursting in, shouting, ‘END IT!’ at Mary and Paul and then going out and lying down for another couple of hours.”
Mel: “We have other dilemmas. Once it was, had someone baked a cupcake or a mini cake?”
Sue: “In the end we decided we couldn’t give a monkey’s. Tasted good!”
Do you prefer the sweet or savoury challenges?
Mel: “Both. We do like savoury. When you smell onions in that tent it’s heaven.”
Sue: “I think it’s going to make a very weird sponge. Savoury weeks are like a long, cool drink after a yomp in a calorific desert.”
You guys seem genuinely upset asking a baker to leave each week…
Sue: “It doesn’t get easier. Mel and I don’t have favourites, but there are some people you empathise with more; they remind you of your mum or brother or whatever, and when it’s their turn to go and you know how much it means to them – my voice wobbles every time.”
Mel: “I’m just cold. I just do it and leave! Get in my limo and go home.”
Sue: “The semi-final is the worst. Telling the fourth person they’re not going to be in next week’s final. That cuts every time.”
Mel: “Because you know how much they’ve put into it. They’re holding down jobs maybe, looking after kids and doing this. They’re pretty amazing actually.”
Which bakers are you tipping for success at this point in the contest?
Sue: “We genuinely love them all. What’s so joyous about presenting Bake Off is that there’s none of this, ‘I want to be a star’. They just want to bake and have the judges love it.”
Mel: “They care massively what Paul and Mary think.”
Is it true the four of you watch box sets in between filming?
Sue: “Yes. Anthony Hopkins’ War and Peace is on at the moment. Last year we watched Mad Men; the year before Bez was very into Jeremy Kyle…”
Mel: “Paul tries to put on ‘Man TV’ – old Formula 1 and snooker – but it’s so dull we turn it straight off. Luckily he’s outnumbered with three women.”
You two do seem to put Paul in his place…
Sue: “Yes, but the trouble is he quite likes it!”