The Great British Bake-off made a political statement as it returned for its 11th season on Tuesday night.
Making his show debut, co-host Matt Lucas mimicked a blundering Boris Johnson as he recreated a spoof press conference with the tagline ‘Stay Alert, Protect Cake, Save Loaves’.
The comic, 46, who has superseded Sandi Toksvig as host, was a spitting image of the Prime Minister in the show opener, which was delayed by 15 minutes after Boris Johnson preached to the nation with the new lockdown measures in the war against coronavirus.
In the act, Matt, who donned a platinum blond hairpiece and stood in front of a Union Jack flag, said: ‘I’ve talked about this, you know, the printer is upside down again. And oh no.. well… how? Ah, yes well that works actually, I can read that fine.
‘Um, right, let’s err… yeah. Good evening, let’s get straight to it. We are now approaching Phase 46.
‘Which means that from Tuesday morning, or Wednesday evening depending on your height. We are, we are, we are saying with regards to baking if you must bake in a tent, bake in a tent.
‘But please don’t bake in a tent. And we are asking people to use common sense with regards to the distribution of hundreds and thousands.’
Matt then said he was going to take a question from ‘the lady in the funky dress, Noelle’.
Little Britain’s star’s co-host Noel Fielding then said: ‘Hello Prime Minister. Just one question: ‘Is it sc-oh-ne or sc-on?’.
Matt said he was going to hand over the query to the ‘experts’ – a spoof of Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Valance – Prue Whitty (Prue Leith) and Professor Paul Hollywood.
After Prue and Paul gave alternate answers, Matt said: Right well I hope that clears things up for you,’ before he ripped off his wig to say: ‘All that remains is for me to say…. Welcome to The Great British Bake Off’.
Viewers soon bombarded Twitter to praise Matt on the innovative parody, with one of the fans of the show writing: ‘I’m loving Matt Lucas on Bake Off already’, while another added: ‘Sensational. #mattlucas #boris #BakeOff’.
A third chimed: ‘Matt Lucas is already a fabulous addition to #GBBO’, and a fourth viewer gushed: ‘Matt Lucas makes a better Boris Johnson than Boris Johnson does.’
Some people might not have found it that amusing but people need a bit of a giggle now and again even if there is a crisis going on and it simply demonstrates that we’re all human beings at the end of the day.
Matt wasn’t actually laughing at the coronavirus, he was stabbing an inept and foolish Prime Minister who has bumbled and blundered his way through this entire pandemic defending the indefensible and ignoring the right thing to do.
And thank goodness for Bake Off with people stressing over crumpling cakes was actually what was needed after such a tragic year and the Prime Minister needs to realise that he’s not so much parodied, but ridiculed.
Spitting Image did it all the time in the 1980s and it was so brilliant but it was never really political, it was just tongue in cheek humour, and just to remind everyone that comedy is still alive and TV doesn’t just have to be all about political garbage.