The baking tent was supposed to be our safe space. What’s going on?
The Great British Baking Show has finally returned to Netflix. After premiering on Britain’s Channel 4 earlier this week, the competitive-yet-delightful baking throwdown crossed the pond to us today, introducing a whole baker’s dozen of new players. Fans are already choosing their favorites—Syabira, you’re my girl!—but the GBBS hive has also found a black sheep in the delightful group.
Dawn, a 60-year-old IT Manager, has taken the cake for least favorite competitor in just her first week on the program. Sorry, Dawn! It’s not you—it’s your career. Folks are furious over the fact that the competitor had a pretty laissez-faire attitude about her old job working for ex-Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
After announcing her title—a former project manager for Johnson—host Matt Lucas visited Dawn’s baking station to do a little bit about the ex-prime minister. The host prodded Dawn to explain more about her title, though she confessed she wasn’t working “directly” for Johnson. (She did, however, get to meet him.)
“His hair was a bit like yours, wasn’t it?” Lucas teases Dawn, who goes along with the joke. “And his face was a bit like mine.”
“We’re like a hybrid,” Dawn quips back.
“Put us together and you have Boris Johnson,” Lucas says.
The baking series has satirized Boris Johnson in the past, staging Matt Lucas as a fake, goofy Prime Minister with a series of weird baking restrictions. It’s odd to see them now embrace Johnson’s staffers with such warmth, welcoming them into the tent and expecting us to cherish them. Viewers aren’t so certain.
“I try not to judge any bake off contestant too quickly, but it has emerged that one of the contestants (Dawn) is a former campaign manager for Boris Johnson,” one viewer shared on Twitter, “so I’m already hoping that everything she bakes fails until she leaves.”
Harsh words for a comfort series! Why is everyone losing it over Boris Johnson? For Stateside folks who may not know, Johnson was the former conservative Prime Minister of the United Kingdom who served from 2019 to 2022. Though Johnson has faced many controversies over the length of his political career, most recently and notably, he was caught at parties that broke his COVID lockdown rules. Just a few months ago, tons of U.K. government officials resigned in protest of Johnson’s decision to hire someone with sexual harassment allegations, leading to Johnson’s own resignation.
Basically: There’s plenty of reasons why Great British Baking Show viewers, especially those in the U.K., should be livid about the decision to include one of his staffers.
But Great British Baking Show fans are going to have to get used to Dawn, who seems to be sticking around for awhile after her grand entrance in the first episode. Though she wasn’t crowned the Star Baker, Dawn was one of the top finishers, thanks to her near-perfect red velvet cake in the technical challenge and apricot genoise showstopper cake.
Nevertheless, a handful of delightful bakers have already earned the goodwill of GBBS fans. Is it getting hot in here? Sandro, a gym bro and nanny, has turned the temperature up in the baking tent. We all want pink-haired Carole to adopt us as her grandchildren. And sweet Syabira is just the cherry on top!
Let’s see if they have a chance at beating Janusz—who’s so good at baking, he could probably take our old pal Jürgen down in a fight.
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