Great British Bake Off: In Praise Of Noel Fielding And Matt Lucas, Kindness Kings

As the pair's first series is almost at an end, we look at the presenting pair's lovely dynamic

Bake Off Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding

by Rhiannon Evans |

Great British Bake Off has been a real port in the storm of 2020 hasn't it - and steering us steadily through Tuesday evenings to some relaxation and time away from the horrors, have been Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas.

Since Matt Lucas replaced Sandi Toksvig and joined Noel Fielding this season, the pair have been a delightful pairing - bouncing off each other surreally and sometime simply, to comic effect and - as some social media users noted - making judge Paul Hollwyood quite confused, while delighting Prue.

Just the way we like it.

But one thing we've really loved about Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding's dynamic this year in the Bake Off tent has been the kindness they've shown to all the contestants this year.

While lots of reality shows exploit their contestants' foibles and failures for entertainment, laughs and mean digs, Bake Off has always been a place where that doesn't happen - where a judge might make a little joke, but would then apologise and help you ease your jelly out of the mould.

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However, it's felt the case more than ever this year - perhaps that's because of the way the show was filmed - the contestants, judges, presenters and crew all lived on set for six weeks in a bubble to pass coronavirus safety rules. The show was filmed in Down Hall in Essex - Prue Leith reportedly ran flower-arranging classes while Paul Hollywood made pizzas for everyone.

This year, more than ever, as Noel and Matt have checked in on guests, given them time checks and wiped their tears, it's felt more personal and kind than ever - probably because of them all knowing each other that bit better.

The bond between contestant Laura Adlington and Matt Lucas has been particularly sweet to watch blossom, as she went from musicals mega-fan, scared to meet him after watching Matt in Les Miserables, to buddies who seem to be a great comic pairing.

Perhaps some of the unique bond has also been thanks to the relationship between Matt and Noel themselves. In an interview with The Sun, Matt claimed he got the part of new presenter after Noel had a dream about him.

'I’ve no idea why Noel was dreaming about me,' he said. 'He suddenly dreamed that I was stood there alongside him in the Bake Off tent and we were making each other laugh.

'So when he woke up he got in touch with the producers and said he wanted me on board. It’s very strange because it’s not as if we knew each other very well.

'I’ve met him a couple of times over the years and The Mighty Boosh (Noel’s comedy act) came along around the same time as Little Britain, so we saw each other around.

'Actually I think he may have been at my 30th birthday party, but we weren’t close friends, so to have a dream about me was probably a bit weird, but brilliant for me too.'

And brilliant for all of us watching, to be fair.

As the series starts to draw to a close and we start to speculate about who will win this year's Great British Bake Off, it's also nice to reflect on the fact that in a series that's featured two male presenters for the first time, it's kindness that has prevailed - and that humour doesn't have to come at the cost of others.

In a world where internet meme pile ons are the go-to when it comes to humour, it's been lovely to see a giggling pair of men on screen, having a laugh with and supporting their friends.

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