An American Bake Off in England?

Well, there are rumors…

And I am only going to keep it to the level of rumor until there is a formal announcement because the exclusive came from The Sun of all places.  While The Sun forces you to pay to read their fine journalistic craftsmanship and look at women’s tits, the story has been reported in other places.

Apparently, there is talk of ABC creating a baking competition show in the style of The Great British Bake Off (GBBO), only ABC will ship a bunch of Americans over to England, stick them under the baking tent, and give Mary Berry the honor of judging them.

How do I put this delicately?  Hmm…

Now I am writing this as an American.  If this ABC gives this show the green light, it will suck at such a low level that we will long for the return of The New Leave It to Beaver.

First of all, there is Mary.  What is wonderful about Mary in GBBO is that she has been a fixture in British cookery for decades.  People know her, and she has the credibility.  The production company didn’t just cast her because they tipped back a few gin and tonics.  But knowing American television, the powers that be are either going to portray her as Mary Poppins or Cruella De Vil thanks to skillful editing.  (Don’t forget that Disney owns ABC.)  She is English, so she can’t be a complete person, you know.

Then there is the superfluous exercise of sending a bunch of Americans to invade England armed with Grandma’s Brown Betty recipe.  I am sure it will attract the Anglophile viewers who will get all misty-eyed over the London field trips and countryside coach tours on which the contestants will embark.   Gives a boost to the British tourism industry, I guess.  However, it will be yet another program that plays into the stereotype of how everything is “quaint” and “charming” in the U.K., and, once again, Americans do not really see just how complex the country truly is.

Of course, the casting agents are not going to choose anyone with any modicum of knowledge about the U.K. and any of its baking.  Where is the fun in that?  Embarrassment and disasters draw ratings.  The producers also want the people with the personalities that are going to clash to create the most drama and to be sure they fill their demographic quotas.  I would be spending most of the show rolling my eyes over how ill-informed these people are, if I can get past the first 15 minutes of the first episode.

“Hey! We’re a different bunch of Americans misidentifying this as London Bridge, even though Karen is using the same photo as last time she made this joke.” “Tower Bridge from Shad Thames” by © User:Colin / Wikimedia Commons. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Commons

And I can imagine the technical challenges. Oh, let’s have some fun and give the Americans some exotic British ingredients. Make a jam roly-poly and use this.

By Ardfern (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Ardfern (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (, via Wikimedia Commons
“Um? What is this Aorta stuff? How do you say it? Sweat?”

But there could be an upside to this.  If the bakers are particularly, shall we say, misguided, we can have Mary set them straight.  Because they can’t do this style over substance Food Network/Duff Goldman/Cake Boss/Cupcake Wars business with the icing to the ceiling and explosives.  I am also talking about those who think it is OK to put Crisco in a buttercream and because they care about their rosettes being rigid more than the flavor.  It would be so worth it, if Mary just lost it after taking a bite, stepped out of character, and stated,

“This tastes like arse.”

Then I would take everything I just wrote all back.

10 thoughts on “An American Bake Off in England?

  1. I think this could work – while the Brits pride themselves of stews and puddings – they have always admired the American apple pies, Mary Baker cakes, muffins and Southern fried chicken.
    As for Tower Bridge – did you know that London Bridge was sold to the US by con men over 1,000 times and that when it was really sold brick by brick – Tower Bridge was the one they thought they were getting. Finally London Bridge was rebuilt during WW2 entirely by women!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. SotonOL, while I agree with you that it could work as far as the baked goods are concerned, the problem would be in the execution. American competition shows are all about creating artificial drama…Big Brother on steroids. Between that and the way that your nation is stereotypically portrayed, I remain dubious.

      I know about the London Bridge. It’s in Arizona. I still get a chuckle out of that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh how this made me chuckle. Well said. We here in the colonies, like Mary and the Great British Bake Off because it is such a kind show, yes yes there are some set backs brought to the attention of the bakers, but really there is no cursing, swearing, belittling of any one. That’s what we like. I think that American television has a lot to answer for in the reality show nastiness. It makes people think this is how you should treat people. No, give us good British television any day (well not so much of Jeremy Clarkson) and Noone does murder like British T.V.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mary-Lou, first of all, welcome to the blog, and thank you so much for commenting.

      There is plenty of nastiness on British television, and I assure you that Top Gear was not a blip on the radar. Of course, PBS would never show The Only Way Is Essex (basically the U.K.’s answer to Jersey Shore and a slap in the face to people from Essex).


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