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.

Try yoga to make time for yourself and live happier

Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author

11:00am Friday 31st October 2014

"It is just as important as any other form of exercise in helping you have a fitter and healthier life" writes Lisa Cuerden

We're amazing... even our hairy bits

Oxford Mail:

11:00am Friday 31st October 2014

Rebecca Moore meets up with a friend in a rush and has a wave of love for womankind

Look out for sleepy hogs

Oxford Mail: Sheena Patterson

11:00am Friday 31st October 2014

Sheena Patterson of Oxford Garden Design makes a plea for a gardener’s pal

Get more bang for your buck on bonfire night

Oxford Mail:

11:00am Friday 31st October 2014

Liz Nicholls finds out how demand for firework displays at home are rocketing as well as rounding up big and little professional bangs on offer for charity

Your furniture may soon be building itself

Oxford Mail: Renee Watson

11:00am Friday 31st October 2014

"Companies like Ikea will be jumping out of their skins to start making use of 4D printing" writes Renee Watson

Mum scores a winning trip

Oxford Mail: Katherine Rees

11:00am Friday 31st October 2014

"Buying in to the Chelsea magic did at least soften the blow of the cost of the football shirt" writes Katherine Rees

First gig at the O2

Oxford Mail:

11:00am Friday 31st October 2014

Alison Boulton digs beneath the city's dreaming spires

Pocket money loans to tempt the youngsters

Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author

11:00am Friday 31st October 2014

"Children warned: your bouncy castle may be repossessed" writes Gill Oliver

Read this... if you dare

Oxford Mail:

11:00am Friday 31st October 2014

Dave Shelton, author of Thirteen Chairs, was at Oxford’s Story Museum yesterday telling some creepy tales. Get in the spirit of Halloween with a spooky story he has written exclusively for Friday Life

What have you done, Renee?

Oxford Mail:

11:00am Friday 31st October 2014

Rebecca Moore is Oxford Savvy

Fact is as strange as fiction... and more fabulous

Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author

11:00am Friday 31st October 2014

"The flowers are not so much plants as carnivorous vats of digestive juices" writes Liz Nicholls

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

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