Why Mary Berry Is Back on 'The Great British Baking Show' in America
If you're anything like me, you watch British television as pure escapism. Sure, the U.K. has its fair share of bad sitcoms and tawdry reality shows. But our neighbors across the pond also have something on their tellies that American TV is sorely lacking: good-natured competition. Such is the case with The Great British Bake Off (aka The Great British Baking Show when it airs on PBS in the States), the low-key, do-your-best series that pits Britain's amateur bakers against one another without resorting to the standard "I'm not here to make friends" drama. But Brits who were fans of the OG GBBO may wish they could swap places with Americans this summer for their own bit of escapism when GBBS and its former judge Mary Berry return to American TV this June.
As you may recall, last year, as a result of a very public move from the BBC to Channel 4, the show's original hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, and beloved judge Mary Berry left the series while Paul Hollywood stayed with the program to be joined by a new cast. (I even wrote about how the show would never be the same again, and based on fan reactions it seems I've been somewhat justified in that notion.)
So why are Berry and the gang back?
While PBS is billing the upcoming run of GBBS as “season five,” what we’re actually getting is series three of GBBO which was never shown in the U.S. This third series actually aired in 2012, which is prior to any of the seasons American audiences have seen on PBS thus far (indeed, even the seasons available on Netflix in the U.S. begin with 2013). That also means that if you don't want any spoilers, don't go a-Googlin' because all of the recaps and winners are easily findable.
So yes, for a brief ten weeks, we get to relive the magic that was the BBC’s GBBO one more time. (As of this writing, Channel 4’s iteration of the series has yet to strike a deal for any American airplay.) While you take a moment to revel in getting another dose of Mary Berry, have a look at some of the author and TV presenter’s most controversial statements about food. What’s wrong with avocado toast, Mary?
New (to America) episodes of The Great British Baking Show will air beginning June 22 at 8 p.m. ET on PBS.