Sarah Millican: Mary Berry doesn’t care about your nana

"Sob stories get you nowhere on The Great British Bake Off"


was invited out on the night of The Great British Bake Off final. It’s a testament to how much I like my friend Phil that I went. He promised a bunch of people I know and like, eating meat in one of those Brazilian restaurants where they keep giving you more meat until you start crying but pretend it’s just sweat. How could I turn that down?


I love Bake Off, but when Beca, my favourite, left, I was noncommittal about the final three. I liked all of them equally and the standard was so high this series that I would happily have eaten everything any one of the 13 contestants produced. Yes, even the bread with the tomato balanced on top.

So I drove home full of meat and giggles, with my 24-hour deodorant assuming I was abroad, and plopped on the sofa to watch the final, two hours late. I avoided Twitter and Facebook when I got in and realised this must be what it’s like for football fans for all the games (matches?) all year round (feels like it). Poor things. I couldn’t be a football fan. Too much avoiding. And also, not interested in the sport.

I ignored texts from friends and family members in case they were sharing the news. Hopefully no one was stuck under a chest of drawers and texting for help. I always assume those people would ring.

I sort of prefer watching Bake Off on catch-up anyway, as that way I get to fast-forward the history bit where they talk to a lady in a cardigan about the old days and then they make Chorley cakes and we learn what it was like before big shiny pastel-coloured mixers. I know it’s terrible, but I’ve always been more of a fan of the now than the then.

enjoyed the final. It was in keeping with the rest of the series. Gentle and calm and nice. The Bake Off final is never going to be as tense as the X Factor or Strictly finals. Sob stories get you nowhere with Mary Berry. She doesn’t care about your nana or how no one ever thought you’d amount to much. Paul’s not bothered if you danced through a bad sprain in week five. They want to know what is the point of rhubarb if you can’t taste it. And they’re right.

But it’s not over. The masterclasses are my favourite bit. As an amateur baker myself, I want to know how to make rhubarb taste of something (anything), how to balance a tomato on a cob (Pritt Stick?) and what the hell a pretzel looks like. I will miss Mel and Sue, though, and hope to see them together again very soon. They make me laugh.

The Sarah Millican Slightly Longer Television Programme is on Saturday at 11.15pm on BBC2.


Sarah’s stand-up DVD, Thoroughly Modern Millican Live, is available at