Mid-Week Musings: The Great British Break Off

‘The Great British Bake Off’ has moved with much hullabaloo from the ad-free BBC to commercial Channel 4. However, the production company is the same, as are much of their team, and while Mary Berry has been lost along with Mel and Sue, the format, we’re promised, is largely unchanged. Except for one big key difference, the need to include three advertising breaks in each hour-long episode.

However, while this is going to annoy and even anger many (honestly, you’d be surprised), I think logistically this will work in their favour.

Firstly, Channel 4 will have their pick of advertising partners, from supermarkets and delivery services offering either those ingredients to have a go yourself or the finished tasty products, to retailers stocking all those featured appliances that no self-respecting baker (according to the show) could be without.

Side note: During one season of the show I bought a whole bread maker to make dough, then a load of baking tins, scales, etc. This was all without the inclusion of nicely timed and targeted ads.

Beyond that though, there’s now going to be a nicely timed point at which one can pop to the kitchen for a cuppa, it is the British bake off after all. One simply must have a fresh cup of tea and some sweet treats when watching ‘Bake Off’, but we always used to run the risk of having to leave the room and miss something, or even to pause the programme and risk a better-synced friend spoiling it for you via text or social media (also something I’ve personally experienced). Now, that problem has been solved with a simple change of broadcaster!

Historically, the National Grid (who supply electricity to every home in the UK) prepared for a spike in demand exactly as there was an ad break in ‘Coronation Street’, linked to everyone quickly going to put the kettle on. I have no doubt that they’ll be under great strain for those three breaks on Tuesday evenings when people rush to make a fresh drink to pair nicely with their light and fluffy Victoria sponges or whatever treat they have to satisfy the inevitable cravings from watching that week’s challenges. In my kitchen, there’s an instant boil hot water dispenser and an Aeropress, I can knock out a lovely fresh coffee well within the 5 minutes allotted for the adverts, and as always I’ll make sure something tasty is at hand each week.

So on Tuesdays from August 28th, it’ll be ‘Ready. Set… BREAK!’

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Moustache: Impossible

Bemusingly, there was a lot of fuss in the geeky news community a few weeks ago about how Henry Cavill’s ‘Mission: Impossible 6’ moustache was causing major problems for his ‘Justice League’ reshoot commitments. Essentially it seems like he was unable to shave it off, and it put Warner in the position of having to remove it in post-production at extra expense.

Oh, if only they could have waited a few weeks!

Tom Cruise’s recent injury on set has halted production on ‘M:I 6’ by an estimated minimum of six weeks, which would have unexpectedly created a tidy gap in which Henry Cavill could have been brought back for reshoots, possibly even with time to have an actual shave rather than rely on the CGI upper lip that’s being digitally added. I know scheduling issues are not quite as simplistic as all that and that the reshoots were a few weeks earlier, but still, it does seem to be a bit of a funny way that things have turned out.

This whole funny issue also shows a little of the inter-studio rivalry, as there’s no question that the better, cheaper and simpler solution to the problem would’ve been for him to shave for Superman, then be given a fake moustache made to look exactly like the one he was previously sporting on return to the ‘M:I 6’ set. That would incur far lower costs that Warner Bros would no doubt have happily covered, probably even sorting the hair work themselves if needed.

I challenge anyone now to be able to watch ‘Justice League’ when it’s released in November and not spend the whole time watching Superman’s top lip trying to work out if it’s a reshot scene. I know I will!