The marquee makes its mark

Rebecca Moore

Rebecca Moore

First published in Columns Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Columnist

What is it that’s so unabashedly alluring about the Great British Bake-off? It’s not just the cakes. It’s not even the biscuits. Forget the bread. It’s the marquee. Yes, I’m serious. We Brits like nothing more than an oversized tent placed in the middle of a field. We love to see those opening credits, with the marquee set amongst an unabashedly British-looking landscape of rolling hills and country estates.

Sometimes it’s sunny. But more often than not the camera focuses on a drippy looking ladle before pulling focus to the rain-swelled doorway beyond. These are the moments we live for.

Close your eyes and I bet you can smell yourself inside a summer tent, can’t you? The promise of wet tarpaulin. The grass. The rubbery smell of mattresses being blown up...

The Great British Bake-off is filled with terrible innuendo and we love the hints of naughty slap and tickle. There is no real nastiness – there is never any bitchin’ over bagels. No fracas over fondant. Mary Berry never picks up her bun tins and, in a hissy fit about dough mix, hurls them across the tent. It’s delightful.

If you take other shows in which competition is at the heart – I’m thinking something like The Apprentice here – you can see why the Great British Bake-Off holds allure for us. The Apprentice filled with supposedly mean-spirited people who want to do mean things and reach the mean top of the mean capitalist tree.

The contestants on the Great British Bake-off just want to avoid a soggy bottom. That’s not too much to ask. They just want to have people enjoy their sugary offerings and marvel at their pastry crumbs.

Their white little marquee is a beacon of pure summer’s innocence among the wasteland of mean-spirited shows on TV. Like a wedding where everybody actually likes the bride and groom. We can associate with the Great British Bake-off on many levels. We all like cakes. We all like watching people try to pipe a bun to perfection. People make mistakes and don’t get cruelly laughed at. But we all really love that marquee and the types of occasions it signifies: weddings, fetes, garden parties – all joyous occasions where one gets merrily tipsy and is allowed – indeed, encouraged – to fill ones face with sweet treats. And it’s summer! Glorious summer!

What’s that... it’s raining? Don’t worry, we’ll be safe in the marquee. Now, where’s my muffin tin?

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

'Smoking is as cool as cancer'

Oxford Mail:

11:00am Friday 24th October 2014

Rebecca Moore hits out at celebrities who ignore the risks and perpetuate the glamorous image of cigarettes

I'm trapped in the hellish reality of cash and class war

Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author

11:00am Friday 24th October 2014

"I shall be watching Spider House... squealing and through my fingers" writes Liz Nicholls

Frighteningly good half term fun

Oxford Mail:

11:00am Friday 24th October 2014

Liz Nicholls rounds up the best activities - many of them spooky - around the county as schools break up

Facts behind the fearsome ebola virus

Oxford Mail: Renee Watson

11:00am Friday 24th October 2014

"The threat to us is low and the threat globally is less than diseases such as Malaria, TB and HIV" writes Renee Watson

Behind the scenes of political probing

Oxford Mail:

11:00am Friday 24th October 2014

Alison Boulton digs beneath the city's dreaming spires

The grit behind the catwalk glamour

Oxford Mail:

11:00am Friday 24th October 2014

As Oxford Fashion Week approaches, we get a behind the scenes look at the world of modelling. Jaine Blackman reports

New generation of girl power

Oxford Mail:

11:00am Friday 24th October 2014

Feminism is alive and well with younger women standing up for their rights. Jaine Blackman reports on how Oxford students want to spread their message wider

Mr Badger is a greedy guest

Oxford Mail: Sheena Patterson

11:00am Friday 24th October 2014

Sheena Patterson of Oxford Garden Design takes a look at a sometimes unwelcome visitor

Someone needs to steer the NHS

Oxford Mail: Katherine Rees

11:00am Friday 24th October 2014

"Why is this massive organisation not producing lines of own brand?" writes Katherine Rees

Focus on issues that are stopping you lose weight

Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author

11:00am Friday 24th October 2014

Keeping Fit with Lisa Cuerden

Discovering Denmark

Oxford Mail:

11:00am Friday 24th October 2014

Luke Sproule finds there's much more to Denmark than Christmas jumpers and Nordic noir

Adding insult to longer hours and lower pay

Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author

11:00am Friday 24th October 2014

Personal finance with Gill Oliver

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree