A letter to the #GBBO haters

The Bake-Off comes to a close for another year with more innuendo, innovation and twitter abuse than ever before. And I’m sad that it is this last point that has come to define this series as far as the press is concerned – reading certain fascist publications, it seems some contestants can cause differences of opinion that drive apart families. I’d love to write about the positive, brilliant aspects of Bake-Off that we’ll see in tonight’s final, but I couldn’t help think about why some people feel the need to be so abhorrent.

As journalists have failed to get hold of this series’ bunch, we as the flavours of yester years have been repeatedly interviewed about “how it felt to be in this position last time” and to give our views on this year’s contestants. And we’ve been glad to comment, as far as I can tell; all of us with something to sell (did you know I’ve got a book out?!)

One thing I haven’t commented on, however, is that this year’s cruelty isn’t a unique occurrence to any particular Bake-Off contestant. It happens across the board; it was there last year and, like these last few weeks, was targeted at the perceived younger and more attractive women…


Dear misogynists and other anthropoid assemblages of bitterness,

I respect that some of you hurling your e-faeces at the wonderful Ms Tandoh et al are genuine e-wankers. And I guess that many of you, like Mr Blanc, forgivably don’t understand how the Internet works. But most of you are respectable people in reality, so why do you have to share your difficulty in coping with seeing someone, who you perceive as being beneath your over-inflated self, not doing what you would in an enviable position?

It has become the done thing amongst some to treat those on telly as something to help express yourself by – this can be in a positive way, like by tweeting #TeamRuby #TeamKimberley or #TeamFrances. A bit of harmless fun and something I’m happy to enjoy. But I take a look at your replies and see bitching to a level never before associated with cake.

There are loads of ways I’ve seen this behaviour justified. Those guys are on telly. We don’t know them; they’re just a face on a screen. They’re never going to read what we’ve written. They’re in such a privileged position; they can take it. They put themselves in the public eye; they should expect to divide people. We’d never say any of this IRL, never to their faces!

On any kind of examination, any attempts at justification are just such total nonsense. Unkindness is still being committed.

I’d like to make something clear: the abuse is felt. Do you think that the contestants don’t read their twitter interactions? Back when I was on, I’d search in the little box at the top right for “#GBBO James” in order to find every mention, the good and the worst. This was just my way of coping with a strange situation. 

Please, stop. Whether you get picked up by the “papers” (who will seek out the most vile tweets as examples) or your words are read directly, you will be responsible for making someone, and their family, sad. 

Keep being hurtful, and us at the other end just have to hope that you are for no other reason than you enjoy it. 

Hope you enjoy the final!