Centrist Dad

The return of The Great British Bake Off is a sure sign that the world can be a better place

Bewitched by beautiful buns, Will Gore wishes Paul Hollywood would keep his handshake to himself

<p>‘Great British Bake Off’ star Prue Leith (centre)</p>

‘Great British Bake Off’ star Prue Leith (centre)

There is a moment in one’s life when it becomes apparent that the passage of time is marked not by the lengthening of dark evenings, nor by birthdays, nor the start and end of school terms, but by the arrival of particular TV events. It is possible that this moment indicates a wrong turn on life’s pathway, or even the beginning of an inexorable decline; but it can also offer a sense of comfort too, as you realise that narrower horizons mean fewer lurking dangers.

And so it is this week that The Great British Bake Off returns to our screens, a reassuring marker of the world’s slow, continued spinning; and a hint that in spite of every recent stumble, some things really don’t change.

It can surely be no coincidence that the government chose the lead-up to GBBO to announce plans to force public service broadcasters to produce “distinctively British” programmes. After all, what could be more British than a show that looks cheap and cheerful, mixes high camp with pure gluttony, and has old people front and centre. All it needs is for the current credits to be replaced by Prue Leith singing “The White Cliffs of Dover” while a Spitfire drops fluffy meringue bombs.

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