Junior Bake Off, CBBC - TV review: A show all about scarily talented kids

Matthew, aged nine,made an alien-themed piñata cake

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The Independent Culture

TV hasn't been the same since, in a flurry of flour and an explosion of eggs, The Great British Bake Off burst on to our screens five years ago.

But as quickly as it whips us into a pastry-making frenzy every August, it disappears again leaving a sea of baking-bereft viewers in its wake. Well, no longer. Because if you can't survive without a weekly helping of cake tiers and tears, then Junior Bake Off may just help fill the void. 

Presenters Sam Nixon and Mark Rhodes were a bit of a poor man's Mel and Sue, but the kids seemed to love them and this show was all about the kids – albeit some bloody precocious ones. That's not to say they weren't talented – they were, scarily so. The youngest contestant, Matthew, was just nine years old. Nine. And he made a near-perfect strawberry shortcake stack followed by an alien-themed piñata cake. When I was nine, I doubt I even knew what a piñata was. But then I also doubt I'd have been allowed to so much as switch the oven on unattended.