P&J Column 27.10.16


What will they call it on C4? ‘The Great British Fake-Bake Off’?

Shelley Shingles, Miss Fetteresso Winner 1987 and Showbiz Correspondent

OM actual G!  It’s the end of an era, with the last ever Great British Bake Off on the BBC, and Mel, Sue and Mary’s refusal to jump ship breaking up the gang.  It’s like the Beatles breaking up all over again, only with spatulas instead of guitars.  For £25 million a year Channel 4 have managed to get the format and Paul Hollywood.  So that basically boils down to a tent with some ovens in it and a partially shaved silverback gorilla.  I hope I’m wrong but I just don’t think it’ll be the same with all the adverts and without Mary’s spangly tops and killer stares.  And for contractual reasons there’ll be no Bake Off at all next year.  I just don’t know how I’m going to get through 2017 without my baking fix.  I might have to pop down to Gregg’s and stare through their oven window, watching their steak bakes brown and rise.  Mind you, who am I trying to kid?  I do that already.

I think it’s Mel and Sue I’ll miss the most.  Of course, they and me go back a long way.  We first met when I was successfully forging my media career; I went onto their Light Lunch show as a spokes-model for California Tan on Rosemount Place, to demonstrate a new ‘stand and tan’ machine.  I’ll never forget what they said to me, as they shut me into it and whacked it on for 3 minutes at full power:

“On your marks.  Get set.  Bake!”

Wise words from two great ladies.

Professor Hector J Schlenk, Senior Research Fellow, Bogton Institute for Public Engagement with Science

As a scientist, people frequently ask me questions such as “When did the universe begin?” “What is Andromeda?” And “when and where was Star Wars set?” To which I answer, respectively, “a long time ago”, “a galaxy far, far away” and “a long time ago in a galaxy far far away”.

But recently people have been asking about time. In particular, they ask about the forthcoming end to BST and our return to GMT, which happens in the wee small hours this weekend. This biannual event causes confusion and panic in equal measure, particularly when setting alarm clocks. My aide memoire is simple and much easier to remember than the other one. When asked whether it’s forward or back, I exclaim: “Vernal vanguard, autumnal abatement!” So memorable it is that no one has ever asked me twice!

Of course, changing the clocks has no impact on the length of daylight. As soon as we pass the summer solstice in mid-June, the sun rises 1 minute later and sets 1 minute earlier each day. Hence it’s both scientifically accurate and absolutely hilarious to say to on the 21st of June “Aye, the nights are fair drawing in!”

View from the Midden – rural affairs with Jock Alexander.

It has been a democratic wik in the village.  I wiz saddened tae hear that in the heaving Metropolois of Ellon, this year’s festive celebrations face cancellation, efter the toon’s Community Cooncil resigned en masse, fan their numbers fell to 8.

I canna see the problem here – if ye ask me 8 fowk is mair nor plenty. Here in Meikle Wartle we believe in smaller government, and hiv a verra effective Community Cooncil (Or ‘Care in the Community Cooncil’ as some wags cry it), Consisting of me, Skittery Wullie and Feel Moira.

We convene in the snug area of the pub, so there widna be room for ony mair folk. I, myself am Secretary and hiv the twin responsibilities of taking the minutes and ordering the pints. Wullie is Treasurer, looks efter the siller and gets the nips, and Moira his adopted the title ‘Dear Leader and President for Life’ and is in charge of nuts, crisps and scumpi fries. We generally pit matters tae a quick vote by acclamation, accompanying each council decision wi’ anither round. Proceedings are highly convivial and interest in joining oor Community Cooncil remains high, nae least because the landlord has been known tae throw in free pies an’ a’.  Sometimes at heid height and high speed if the democratic process looks like it might be about to get oot o’ hand and hurt someb’dy

But we resist an increase in numbers. Because files governmental expansion micht introduce wider community representation, it wid also impact adversely on oor descision-making efficiency. And mak the rounds baith dearer and less frequent. Cheerio!