Years ago, someone had a brilliant idea. They’d get a big tent from somewhere, fill it with ovens and home cooks, and then run a low-stakes baking competition where people put in a lot of wholesome effort to see if they could make the nicest cake. Some family-friendly presenters would make gentle innuendo and hug contestants who dropped things on the floor. It’s still on TV and it’s still doing well.
What TV executives really like is more of the same. If you find a thing that works, and pulls in an audience, they want to produce more TV exactly like that. So after the Great British Bake Off, you got the Great British Sewing Bee (pitch: like the Bake Off, but people are sewing things), the Great British Pottery Throwdown (pitch: like the Bake Off, but people are making pottery), the Great British Menu (pitch: like the Bake Off, but for main courses), Interior Design Masters (pitch: like the Bake Off, but for making rooms look tasteless), and now Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas (pitch: like the Bake Off, but with Christmas decorations).
I reckon I could have a go at this crap as well. First thing tomorrow I’m marching into Channel 4’s headquarters, demanding a meeting with the boss and giving him my snappy pitches for these shows, now in development:
The Great British Veg Patch
Like the Bake Off, but for growing vegetables. A really slow, relaxing watch, since a single challenge takes the contestants all year. Most of their time is spent sitting in their potting sheds waiting for the rain to ease off. In the showstopper challenge they have to present their most humorously-shaped root vegetable. Hosted by Scott Mills.
The Great British Drag Race
Like the Bake Off, but for racing noisy muscle cars over very short distances. Has nothing to do with drag queens. The grotty, macho world of drag racing will be made softer, cuddlier and more family friendly by having the drag races happen inside a big tent on a giant gingham tablecloth. Hosted by Matt Hancock.
The Great British Steel Works
Like the Bake Off, but for producing industrial grade steel from iron ore. Contestants race to turn out neatly shaped ingots of pure steel at white hot temperatures while trying not to set the tent alight. Before each challenge, lovingly-drawn colour sketches of the precise cubes of steel each contestant plans to make will be shown on screen. Hosted by Lorraine Kelly.
I’m pretty sure this is my path to fame and fortune. If you want in on it, pitch me your Great British rip off ideas in the comments and I’ll see if I want you in on the meeting.