It was an emergency meeting at the Council of Bakers, and Paul Hollywood was bashing his rolling pin on the table. Thankfully, Agent Mel and Agent Sue had arrived just in time to make a cheeky innuendo about it.
“Well!” gasped Mel. “I never thought I’d see the day that Paul Hollywood would get his rolling pin out in front of everyone.”
“I know!” responded Sue. “He clearly means business today.”
“Agent Mel and Agent Sue!” said Paul sharply. “I have just about had enough of your inappropriate innuendoes. Baking was a fine art before you started ruining it with your insinuations!”
“Ooh!” said Mary. “Look at the size of Sue’s buns!”
“NOT YOU TOO MARY! HOW COULD YOU?!” Paul roared, like an injured (bread) lion.
“Paul, I was just referring to the iced buns that Sue has bought along for the meeting,” Mary replied sternly. “I know you’re stressed out, but you need to remain calm. There’s no room for soggy bottoms around here.” She took a deep breath, steadying herself as she did so; it had been a manic couple of days, a real life technical challenge.
“First of all, thank you all for coming to this emergency meeting, and at such short notice. As past winners of Great British Bake Off you have all proven yourself to be important members of the Council of Bakers… Nadiya, and everyone else who came before, I can’t actually remember your names as it’s been so long but we still very much appreciate you coming.
“Now, the reason I have called you here is because the unthinkable has become a reality- the BBC has lost Great British Bake Off.”
There were audible gasps around the council table; it was Baked Alaska all over again.
“Channel 4 has put in a higher bid and won the rights to the programme. The reason we are telling you this is because we, as presenters and judges, have a very important decision to make. We want your advice in this crucial, once in a life time referendum: shall we remain with the programme, or shall we leave? Are we IN, or are we OUT?”
“Why not just let the public decide?” asked Mel.
“Yeah, I know we’re the ones that are part of the actual process, but this sounds like far too important a decision for us to make by ourselves,” Sue added.
“We did debate that, but what if it was a really close result?” reasoned Paul. “Our audience, united by so many things, suddenly split down the middle. Can you imagine the arguing? It would be too much to bear.”
“I believe we should leave!” A mysterious unknown baker had suddenly entered the room. He had a mess of blond hair, and a mad look in his eye.
“Sorry, but who are you?” asked Mary, trying her best to remain polite.
“I am Boris Chelsea Bunson!” declared the baker with great dramatic flair. “I’m one of those unknown bakers from one of the earlier series that you’ve probably forgotten all about. Now I know I have always professed a love for the company that produces our programme, but I say now that we should leave! Take back control… of our production!”
“Outrageous!” interjected Paul. “You just want to be the new head judge on the programme!”
“Nonsense!” Boris fired back. “I am more likely to be reincarnated as an olive-stuffed focaccia than to become head judge on this programme!”
“But have you really considered what it would be like if you were to leave?” spoke up Nadiya. “There is no certainty as to what would happen. We could lose our jobs! The ratings could slump. We are bakers. We should stick with what we know.”
“But Channel 4’s content is all about innovation, experimentation, creativity!” Boris retaliated. “The Great British Bake Off is quintessentially a BBC programme! The BBC has a long tradition of making programmes that encapsulate our favourite hobbies and show off the best of British, like Strictly Come Dancing, and Crimewatch! If we can’t remain with the BBC, we should look to go elsewhere. We are a valued commodity in the world of television. They need us more than we need them!”
“Enough!” Paul raised his hands, and silence swept round the room. “To aid our discussion, I sent Agent Mel and Agent Sue to find out what will happen if we go to Channel 4. Agents, what have you found?”
“It’s a lot worse than we ever realised,” shuddered Mel. “They are already planning a spin off show called “Come Bake With Me,” where the contestants have to go round each other’s houses to try three courses of baked goods.
“There’s also rumours of a show called “Baked Attraction,” where contestants work out whether to go on dates with one another PURELY on their baking,” Sue added. “Can you imagine anything so objectifying?”
Both agents then looked at each other, and breathed in heavily. Bemused expressions flooded the room; something else was clearly wrong.
“It’s been a tough decision to make… but we feel this is one recipe we cannot follow. We’re stepping down from the show.”
They said this both in unison, tears slowly forming in their eyes as the council stared back with shocked expressions. Paul was the first to respond. “Surely this idea is half baked?”
“No, we’re not taking the pitta,” Mel replied. “Yeah, we’re scone for good. Doughnut try and stop us,” added Sue.
They both knew that deep down, Paul really did love the puns, and all of the other bakery-related wordplay. At that moment of staring into the brink of the unknown, there was only one thing you could say for certain; at least we’ll always have the innuendoes.
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