We found out that Jordan was going to be on the Great British Bake Off in March 2014, around five months before everybody else found out. Do you know how difficult it is to keep secrets about this kind of thing? It is REALLY DIFFICULT. But I signed one of those nifty non-disclosure agreements with the BBC and that kind of felt like I should be quiet about it until the show aired.
“Ladies, I need to ask you a huge favour.”
We knew in around November 2012 that Jordan was planning to apply to the Great British Bake Off and we were kinda dismissive of it because “yeah yeah you and SEVENTEEN BAZILLION OTHERS.” But we wished him good luck and heard nothing more about it. Until January 2013 when he announced to us that he was in the final 50.
We found out in the March that he’d made it into the final 14 because we had to stage a mini cake club. We are, after all, where it all began. Bonnie and Jordan have been attending our cake clubs since 2011 and Bonnie was actually the one who used to do all the baking. And then Jordan got interested in this baking lark and the rest is history. The prospect of being used in the “introductions” section of Great British Bake Off was all too much to handle, especially when the viewing figures for Bake Off have increased year on year and they were about to move over to BBC 1.
We all rocked up to the Malt Cross to host our mini cake club one weekday evening and didn’t even know if Jordan was going to be included on the show at this point. During our little filming session it was announced by the producers that they had decided Jordan would be included in the final 12. Much celebration happened and we were all overjoyed that A FRIEND OF OURS was going to be on GBBO. This was the baking big time. How many cake clubs have had an attendee appear on GBBO? (The answer is zero).
And then everything kind of went radio silent for the next five months. Jordan was mysteriously absent for a few cake clubs during filming but we managed to resist asking what was going on.
Finally the date of the first episode was announced. Then the BBC changed it to throw ITV off the scent (or something). We had planned to hire out the Broadway Cinema Lounge for a cake club (ANY EXCUSE) and a private showing of the first episode of the Great British Bake Off 2014! Which is what we did.
I have to say that Jordan’s face appearing on the screen in front of us whilst also simultaneously being hidden by his hands nearby was a very surreal experience. THAT’S JORDAN! ON THE TV! But it was also lots of good fun and we were all absolutely overjoyed for him and this achievement.
The BBC estimated that around 17,000 people applied to the Great British Bake Off 2014 season. Which is epic. To make it into the final 12 is nothing short of a lifetime achievement which I hope will go on to further Jordan’s (intended) career as a patisserie chef.
As we all know he was booted out in week 3 (bread week) but to hold out that long is fantastic and way more than we could ever manage!
There are still three months until the next season of Great British Bake Off 2015. I’ve been a fan since the beginning so to have now been a very small part of all of this has been a fantastic experience. A particular memorable high point was chatting away to Paul Hollywood’s parents (they’re lovely) in VIP at the BBC Good Food Show whilst he was on stage. Not to mention strolling around the show with Jordan and having him recognised CONSTANTLY.
The whole experience has been awesome. I cannot wait to see what the next season brings! (As far as we know… none of our attendees are in this year… or are they?)