Oh BBC 1, what have you done? Why would you do this to us? You've taken something that was so cuddly and squishy and comforting and lovely and you've spaffed globs of sticky gunk all over it.
I have loved Great British Bake Off since the first series. It's my ideal comfort telly. I don't really know why, but it's made me quite gleeful over the years. I blogged about it last year . It's A Thing.
It was there on BBC 2, where all the best programmes are, and then by Series 2 its fame had spread and people were rediscovering the utter joy that is Mel and Sue (LOVE THEM), and discovering Mary Berry (who I'm pretty sure, at this point, is a Replicant) and the mahogany love god that is Paul.
A simple formula, some lovely people, a nice supportive kind of atmos, shots of sheep and squirrels, cakes and actually talented contestants and BAM, there it was. All nice and perfectly baked.
There were shades of manipulation last year with the whole backlash against Ruby (whose main crime was being very young and very pretty as far as I recall) and the encouraging casting of Kimberley as the villain. Custardgate was the first time that a contestant actually interfered with someone else's stuff but it was so obviously mortifying for the culprit and the victim was ever so English about it and thus it passed as a mere blip on the radar.
And then in 2014, Bake Off moves to BBC 1. Not four episodes in and we have TRAUMA. We have someone - brace yourself - walking out of the tent. Actually stropping out of the bake off tent. Have you ever? I have never seen the like. And not only that but the purported reason ginger beard man stropped out was because an old lady apparently decided to sabotage his bake. She decided to do it openly, BRAZENLY and in full view of everyone. So much in full view that Nancy could easily have been implicated as much as her. Of whom do I speak? Of one Diana Beard, that's who.
She's an assassin no doubt. Possibly a plant. I think it was most likely a conspiracy from start to finish. Her with her nervous expression and tear rimmed eyes. Never have I seen such an outright cheat. I'm gunning for her to be the first person on the scaffold when they bring back hanging, personally. Although that's possibly too good for her.
And what did Mrs Beard do? She blatantly and without remorse, y'r honour, removed Ginger Beard's ice cream from said freezer and left it out of said freezer while putting her own in said freezer, guv'nor. Ginger Beard was unhappy with this development and threw his pudding in the bin before deliberately and dramatically walking out of said tent.
Why, you ask? Well, his ice cream had melted and he deemed it to be a bit of a pointless venture.
Weirdly, nothing was said but Mary Berry nearly EXPLODED with passive aggressive jibes (against Ginger Beard) during judging. She praised Chetna for not stropping out like a giant toddler because her ice cream had melted too. Paul made Ginger Beard approach the judging altar on his knees, whipping himself as Jesus did on the way to the cross (did he? That doesn't sound right, but I've only got the Passion of the Christ to go on so it was probably the Jews what done it) while humiliatingly bringing his bin up to be 'judged'.
In this not at all staged episode we witnessed the crappiness of editing in full force. I think they stitched Diana up like a kipper rolled in marzipan and I also think they did Ginger Beard dude a massive disservice by booting him.
What they could have done (and have done before) is not boot anyone because of all the weirdness and boot two next week. Or actually chuck Norman out because, although I adore him rather much, he is a bit shit. But what they actually did was leave it all ambivalent while giving us the obvious nod to blame Diana and basically stir the pudding nice and thoroughly. Hence the world and its wife losing their shit and Diana being abused to fuckery on Twitter and every other website.
I thought that Beardy Ginge acted like a bit of tit. I understand it because I would almost definitely have done the same thing because I have a terrible temper and am not very good at all at dealing with things when things don't go my way. I got refused a mortgage the other day and practically stamped my foot and screamed until I was sick. So I do get it. But for fuck's sake, man.
Diana has now left as well (the BEEB says it's because she got ill but we all know she's in a safehouse) and basically it's all turned into an episode of TOWIE vs Geordie Shore and I am rather Outraged of Seaview about it.
It better get back to normal from now on or I may be forced into writing several very strongly worded letters to the BBC.
And remember, in the battle of Beard Vs Beard, NO ONE WINS.