The BBC have come up with yet another #Food programme to add to their evening line up and this one has a familiar ring to the name – Bake Off: Creme de la Creme. This eight part pilot #Series, hosted by Tom Kerridge, will showcase the work of top pastry chefs and there are hopes that it will be a hit in the BBC2 schedule for 2016.
Sister programmes and spin-offs are all the rage with top BBC programming; if a format works and draws in millions of viewers each week then why not take that as far as it will go. The Great British Bake Off, which is surely one of the most popular skills based competitions shows on the BBC in recent years, has a number of additional programmes under its banner and has spawned similar shows such as the Great British Sewing Bee, Great Pottery Throw Down and Great Allotment Challenge. We already have the main Bake-off show, the Extra Slice half hour where we meet the evicted baker, celebrity editions for Comic Relief and the occasional masterclass with Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.
Can a professional version draw in the same audience?
Bake Off: Creme de la Creme will provide the audience with a new twist but there are two problems that might mean that it struggles to captivate them in the same way – this is a show for professionals and none of the regular faces are involved. A professional version of Bake Off could lead to some impressive creations, especially if the fifteen teams of three bakers are from such varied backgrounds as top hotels, supermarket development and the armed forces. The issue is that it is harder to relate to the team of experts than the individual amateur discovering what they can really achieve or and much less likeable than the failing household name. As for the hosts and judges, the names Benoit Blin, Cherish Finden and Claire Clark will mean little to viewers (even if they are fully qualified to judge an elaborate piece of patisserie) and while Tom Kerridge may be the popular face of Food and Drink, he is no Mel and Sue.
Professional versions of this shows can work. Over at Masterchef: The Professionals there is a lot of fun in watching over-confident chefs receive negative comments for their raw poultry and strange flavour combinations but the series with amateurs cooks – the individuals desperate to follow a passion and show off their ideas – is arguably more engaging. Fans will have to wait and see if this venture proves to be successful. #Television