People feel protective about The Great British Bake Off. It was the little programme that launched quietly on BBC Two in 2010, then became, quite unexpectedly, within two or three years, the UK's favourite TV show. It made Mary Berry into the nation's matriarch, Mel and Sue into fantasy drinking buddies, and Paul Hollywood into, well, the embodiment of a certain type of guy who we've definitely come across in our everyday lives.
So after the show was poached by Channel 4, causing Mel, Sue, and Mary to bow out gracefully, fans were understandably suspicious. The new GBBO line-up was announced last month, to a somewhat muted reception, and now the first official photo has been revealed. It shows Paul Hollywood, new judge Prue Leith, and presenting duo Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding holding cupcakes in a familiar-looking English country garden. Quintessentially Bake Off, right?
Yet once again, the reaction on Twitter has been pretty mixed, to say the least. But even if you're feeling relatively optimistic about Bake Off 2.0, you'll probably find some of these tweets funny.
Now, let's not get too despondent. No, this isn't the Bake Off we know and love, but it could become something which holds its own, unique appeal. Prue Leith is a very well-respected cook and businesswoman, Sandi Toksvig is actually a low-key hero, and Noel Fielding has the potential to be brilliantly off-the-wall on this show. Paul Hollywood will continue to be Paul Hollywood, obviously; better the devil you know and all that. So let's wait until we see the first trailer, at least, before we declare Great British Bake Off dead and buried.
And if that happens, we still have Nadiya Hussain and Zoe Ball's new BBC cookery contest to look forward to, of course.