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Dear Ann,

I know: every English speaker on earth is already watching The Great British Baking Show.  So I’m writing this for the one knitter out there who somehow has missed out on this wonderful show, which is a perfect companion to knitting.

I’ve been hearing about The Great British Baking Show for years, sometimes from people whom I never suspected had the slightest interest in either baking or reality TV, but would not miss a single episode in real time, because they were so into seeing who was Star Baker and who had to leave at the end of each episode.

Whatever it offers to die-hard bakers (which I’m sure is great, even though I am not entirely clear on the difference between a ganache and a mousse), The Great British Baking Show is the ultimate in comfort TV fare. Bakers win and bakers lose, but everyone is kind, open, and honest, even about themselves. You get a generous slice of British society and character in every episode.

I’ve watched The Great British Baking Show very lazily over the years, never watching it on purpose, just sticking on it when surfing on my PBS channels. Now, with five seasons conveniently sitting there on Netflix, I am hunkering down and stuffing my face with it.  (There are other ways to watch, and I highly recommend surfing your local PBS station during non-prime times for random episodes. Even if there’s no GBBS, there might be a Lidia’s Family Table or A Chef’s Life,which will do very well for comfort/knitting purposes.)



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  • Agree! Love the Great British Baking Show!

  • DH and I LOVE this show (and yes, I do knit to it). We have watched every season on Netflix. I LOVE that they help each other and encourage each other. Although, I must admit every time I watch the show, I get a craving for something sweet.

  • My husband and I love this show! It is our Friday night routine after getting our son to bed. It is such a balm after a long week.

    I’d also suggest Making It with Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman. It’s first season is over, but you can stream it on NBCs website. Similar in format and feel, but with crafting challenges. They earn patches!

  • Just a caveat — the US aired PBS shows and the British aired shows have their seasons numbered differently … I discovered this as I am wondering how much information they are given before they are ‘baking.’
    Even the Husbeast likes to watch before the Friday night ritual of BritComs (new Favorite — “Upstart Crow.”)

    • You do get the definite impression that they seem to “know” what to practice beforehand. But with the judging standards so high, they need all the help they can get!

      • They’re given all the recipes to practice with at home.

        • They are given the signatures and showstoppers to practice; the technical challenges are completely new and sometimes unknown to all the bakers.

    • Upstart Crow? You have me intrigued!

      • “Upstart Crow” is Shakespeare as … well, a slightly clueless writer struggling between London and Stratford. His landlord’s daughter is Kate, his manservant is Bottom, and the more you know the plays, the funnier it is! It airs on one of my local PBS (WLIW) stations – and I managed to get the dvds from Amazon UK (I have a region free player). But I do believe they are available in the US … ask a library! The Christmas episode had Emma Thompson as Queen Bess. It’s very very funny and very literate as well, making it a great combination.

  • I’ve been watching, off and on, for past few years. It is addicting, gotta find out who goes home every week! I luv Mary Berry, so sweet in her criticism:) and Paul can be so intimidating. The things they make are just astounding and yummy looking. I cheer for them, I cry for them. Love this show

  • I have been watching the very entertaining and baking skill show for 3 years now.The show is so addicting.Marvolous bakers, with a keen sense of humor and skill(or not) , then the crew makes the show So your sitting on the edge wondering with who is a star baker or not.Lucky to see it here in America .I have access to BBC and very very Thankful.Love the British.I even taken part in a few baking triumphs from watching their show.

    • Thank you for your lovely comment about the British – we are feeling a bit battered at the moment due to the disastrous Brexit debacle, so it is nice to feel wanted. x

  • I adore the kindness of this show! When we don’t binge it and instead watch one episode per week as it comes, I have fun trying one or two of the recipes. But I haven’t even tried knitting to the show—I don’t want to miss even one stitch’s worth!

  • I adore GBBS. Am currently watching ‘Death in Paradise.’ And I’ve just found ‘Green Wing,’ on Netflix, which seems delightfully silly.

  • I enjoy the Great British Baking Show, too. I put on the Closed Captioning so I don’t miss the funny lines and quips.

  • My Hubbie and I live fir Friday nites to watch in two pbs stations!!! I make sure we have a treat when we watch them!! Now there are new hosts!

  • Just remember, from here on out, the new seasons, that will only be on Netflix, only have Paul Hollywood from the original show. No more Mary, Sue, and Mel. No thanks.

    • New cast doing great job…enjoying it as always

    • The new ‘comic-relief’ hosts are well-known and hilarious comedians Noel Fielding and Sandy Totsvig (sp?). Just give it a try.

      • Agreed. I was tepid at best with them at first, and have grown to accept they’re very funny in their own ways.

      • And Pru Leith is a great cook and often very funny as a judge. It is a different relationship that she shares with Paul, but it works very well. And Noel is fantastic!

    • That’s how I feel too!

  • Hi, I must be that one knitter you were referring to because I have never watched GBBS. Actually, I don’t watch any cooking shows because I can’t cook and, frankly, have no interest learning. I know, that puts me at odds with the entire rest of the world apparently, but then I was always the one to run the other way when I saw a trend coming. Although I did knit a Color Affection when it was all the rage.

    But I do have to say that I’ve started watching Endeavour and I love it. Thanks for the recommendation.

  • It’s called the Great British Bakeoff where I live Down Under, and isn’t the same now that Mary, Sue and Mel aren’t on it anymore.

  • I never got around to reading yesterday’s post–this one–until this morning and I have to smile, because I spent most of the day watching Season 4 and knitting. It’s the only season I haven’t seen. I hope another one is released on this side of the pond soon.

  • I love these older episodes with Mary, Paul, Sue, and Mel. Now that The Great British Bake Off has moved to ITV with just Paul, watching the show feels like going back to your old school many years after you have left. The place still looks the same, and there’s that one guy who still hangs around, but everyone else has left.

  • I love this show. I put it on and just caaalllllm right down.

  • I love this show, but hate having to wait two years for Netflix to have the next seaso. I belive there are more than 10 seasons of this wonderful show and we’re only now seeing season 5!

    • They’re supposed to air the next season this fall on Netflix. Can’t wait!! And I crochet while watching.

  • My husbend and I watch it all the time. I do not like watching reality TV . it bugs me when everything is over dramatized, but this show is just nice. Its not only a cool show watching and waiting to see who gets elimanated there is some cool stuff u learn about diffrent types of bread! And they always tell the person eliminated what a good baker they really are because it takes a lot to be taped in front of hundreds of people and to be elimanated . such a nice show.

  • Oh heart! Just watched the Liam episode the other night. Went to bed a wee bit teary.

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