Anyway I could bang on about this for a while, especially the fact that Paul Hollywood only ever wrote a single book before the series begun and yet is heralded as the “bread expert”, but I won’t. What this post is about is a new idea.
As far as I could see, the GBBO was all about (other than baking) technical skill, time-management and, above all, creativity. Some of the cakes presented were stunning. From the more try-this-at-home stuff like like blood orange drizzle cake, chorizo sausage rolls and savoury scones, to the more extravagant grapefruit and ginger meringues, floral tea cakes and the sumptuous, final round, no-holds-barred chocolate cakes.
This is actually the first time I’ve ever watched the programme all the way through. Some might laugh, but seeing everything come together on the plates at the end was absorbing and I can see why people obsess about it. At the end of the every programme I was genuinely inspired to have a go and bake something.
Anyway my idea is to take those points of technical skill, organisation and spellbinding creativity and apply them in a new situation - tailoring! Let’s call it The Great British Make Off.
The show should take place in an old warehouse somewhere in East London (just to get that old British vibe). We’ll bring in Eddie Piller of the Modcast as the presenter. He’s got a bullish, larger-than-life personality and is used to presenting on radio, so he’s the natural choice.
The first judge can be tailor Mark Powell. Powell is the Mary Berry of the show - a bastion of the tradition, a legendary pedigree with a knowledgeable presence. He’ll know his Prince of Wales from his dogtooth blindfolded and with his hands tied behind his back. The other judge can be Bradley Wiggins or someone young and flash. Comparisons with Paul Hollywood won’t be made.
Each contestant will be assigned a “client” for whom they have to tailor. I say male here simply because I think it would be unlikely for a tailor to possess both suitmaking AND dressmaking prowess, plus I want to keep the show on the side of classic Mod side simply because of my own personal taste. I don’t usually do women’s clothes on this blog so I won’t bother on the show. But I do think the option could be retained for a female equivalent.
For the “technical” part of the programme, the contestant would have to listen carefully to what the judges instructed them they wanted and follow the brief given with as little deviation as possible, measuring up their clients in the usual way and putting together the requested item in the correct size and shape. The item would be ideally from some vaguely relevant Mod picture or image, like an old Ivy League photo, Steve Marriott’s suit from the Small Faces first album cover or even just a classic early Jam suit. The contestants would have to get to it, judged in the end not only how well the suit fitted their client, but also how well it matched the source material.
The “signature” would be a bit different. By having a chat with the client and understanding their tastes (as well as incorporating a bit of the contestant’s own ideas) each contestant would have to make an unusual or smart Mod suit in their own style they think their client would like. This would be judged again on quality and creativity but also on how much each client was seen to like the creation. This could be the truly creative area - where any number of fantastic designs could be come into being before our eyes.
Other than this, I suppose the show would continue for several weeks as contestants are voted off and there is one surviving winner!
Alright, so it might not be a complete show as yet. But you’ve got to admit, I’ve got you thinking...