You can't get much more British than Victoria sponge, scones and Eccles cakes, but it seems the Great British Bake Off is proving a worldwide television hit.
Finland and The Netherlands are the latest countries to produce their own versions of the show, which has already been licensed by BBC Worldwide to 9 other countries including France, Australia, Poland, Belgium, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the US, making it the BBC’s most successfully exported format after Strictly Come Dancing.
Each country has adapted its own take on show, asking contestants to cook regional specialities. In Belgium amateur cooks are challenged to make everything from a pizza to the national traditional ‘miserable cake’- an almond sponge with buttercream filling.
In France, where the show is called Le Meilleur Patissier (The Best Pastry Chef), contestants make petits fours and croissants. They are judged by the Gallic version of Mary Berry, a 70-year-old food critic and cookery writer called Jacqueline Mercorelli.
The Danish version, The Great British Joust (Den Store Bagedyst), has already become the highest-rated show in the DR1 channel’s history. Hopeful bakers are asked to cook the best rye bread, cupcakes and Danish pastries.
Elin Thomas of BBC Worldwide said: “We’ve seen broadcasters around the world put their own special twist on the format to great success, for example with the speciality cakes that are associated with different countries. Baking is a tradition everyone can relate to so I have no doubt this brilliant format will only continue to win more fans around the world.”
In Britain the show is thought to be behind a rise in baking equipment sales, and an increase in the number of men baking as a hobby.
Today patron saint of British baking Delia Smith announced her final televised show.