The Great British Baking Show: Holidays on Netflix is understood for welcoming again acquainted faces to the tent, however this yr it gifted a brand new character to the franchise. (A minimum of for People.) Tom Allen subbed in for Noel Fielding for one episode whereas the latter was on paternity depart in August 2020*. For these of us who've grown pissed off over Noel Fielding and co-host Matt Lucas‘s apparent boredom with The Great British Baking Show, Tom Allen may need appeared like a breath of contemporary air. The comedian loved diving into the bakers’ creations, saved most of his barbs for Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith, and appeared to take the gig severely! He was additionally greater than a bit of bit snarky. So do followers suppose Tom Allen ought to host The Nice British Baking Present year-round? Or do we expect he needs to be stored as far-off from the tent as attainable?
*Sure, the brand new 2021 installments of The Nice British Baking Present: Holidays initially premiered on Channel 4 within the UK final Christmas. We get them a yr late.
The Nice British Baking Present: Holidays are an annual custom that places a enjoyable, festive spin on the standard Nice British Baking Present format. There are at all times two installments. A “Christmas” one highlighting conventional vacation bakes and a “Festive” one honoring New 12 months’s Day. Fan favorites from years previous and former winners return to the bake for a single battle for Star Baker. (And occasionally TV stars like the cast of Derry Girls takes the bakers’ places.) There’s normally no drama within the tent throughout this time. It’s all boozy bakes and inside jokes.
That mentioned, of us may need been bowled over dialing up this yr’s installment of The Nice British Baking Present: Holidays on Netflix as Noel was on paternity depart for the Christmas episode. In his place was Tom Allen, a sharply dressed bald comedian with a mischievous smirk and posh accent. British followers of The Nice British Baking Present would instantly have acknowledged Allen from his work on two Bake Off spin-offs: Bake Off: The Professionals and the “after present” generally known as “An Additional Slice.” People, then again, may need met Tom with skepticism. Personally? I type of actually dug Tom’s vibe.
Proper now my greatest criticism with present Nice British Baking Present hosts Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas is that neither appear to take pleasure in their jobs all that a lot. Noel, particularly, has taken to mocking his personal profession path to the internet hosting gig. Collectively, Noel and Matt scamper via the tent with the identical type of vitality you’d get from kindergarteners determined for consideration. It emerges in silly, complicated time calls, weird “jokes,” and insults directed proper to the bakers’ faces.
What I discovered refreshing about Tom Allen is he was in a position to preserve his snarky persona whereas additionally being completely plugged into the mechanics of the present. Tom eagerly tucked into the bakes and gave the bakers constructive feedback (and the judges’ facet eye for their very own infamously crucial judgments). When Tom did do foolish callouts, he stored the time name itself clear and cogent and leaned extra on self-deprecating visible gags. Which means that as a substitute of listening to garbled gibberish, the bakers would have simply heard the precise time! Tom Allen got here throughout like a puckish Tim Gunn, there to carry class to the proceedings, encouragement to the rivals, and mischief to the judges. Not the bakers.
That mentioned, I might see how Tom Allen may need additionally rubbed some American viewers off with deadpan jokes about how nice he's (which I took for sarcasm) or his snarky methods. I used to be charmed, although. Once more, my situation with Matt and Noel boils down as to if or not they perceive the balancing act of being a number on a present like The Nice British Baking Present. The gig is about clearly establishing the principles, infusing moments of levity, and advocating for the bakers most of all. The contestants are the celebs, not the presenters. Tom Allen appeared to naturally get this. He understood the project, as the youngsters say.
Tom Allen will not be the legendary dream host so many people need to swoop in and save The Nice British Baking Present, however his visitor stint proved that different British comics a) exist and b) have the chops to host the The Nice British Baking Present. Tom Allen additionally confirmed that there’s fertile comedian floor in mocking Paul and Prue (and tasting the dishes alongside the persnickety judges). Love him or hate him, however his look proved there may be one thing lacking from the present lineup.