Friday, 28 October 2016

An Extra Slice

Now you will already know I'm a huge fan of The Great British Bake Off, but I also enjoy the spin off programme An Extra Slice on Friday evenings with Jo Brand.

So you can imagine my delight when I was offered the chance of tickets to be in the audience via the clandestine cake club... not just any old tickets either but right up the front, sat around the tables, where the audience is invited to bring a cake. I immediately decided I would bring a Pumpkin cake being as it is almost Halloween (as did two other people too!) but then I found out there was a Royal theme so I converted my Pumpkin into Cinderella's coach. On Wednesday me, my friend Anne and my rather large cake in its box went into London on the train and underground to the ITV studios on the South Bank

Anne and I were shown into a holding area which was the last chance to take a photo before being ushered into the studio. Once there all bags, coats and phones etc had to be handed in so there are no photos of the actual filming or the set, which looked fabulous. 

At this point we were told that unfortunately there wouldn't be time to see any audience bakes with it being the final show... there was a brief moment of disappointment when I realised that Mary Berry would probably never taste my cake but it was very brief indeed because the whole experience was amazing. First of all we were shown the final of the Bake Off and sworn to secrecy over the winner. We then met all the other contestants who mingled among us. We spoke to Kate, Michael, Tom and Rav (who said he wanted to try  my cake!) Val was just as dippy... and lovely as she appeared on the show. Louise and Lee were there too, although Benjamina and Selasi couldn't be there. There was a warm up man who got us all laughing and then the filming commenced. They filmed continuously for an hour and a half  - Jo Brand chatting with Mary Berry, Sarah Millican and Hal Cruttenden before meeting the runners up Andrew and Jane and finally the winner Candice.

The whole experience was just wonderful from meeting lots of lovely people to seeing the whole process of filming a TV show. We returned home... with the cake... absolutely exhausted but having had a fabulous time. And if you tune into BBC2 tonight (i.e Friday in England) at 8.30 pm you might even get a glimpse of me and my cake!*

As for the cake... which was a spiced pumpkin cake with pecan nuts and freshly grated pumpkin and a buttercream frosting, with a hidden trick or treat centre filled with jelly snakes... I took it along to a charity quiz last night where it was shared out for donations to the charity so it didn't get wasted. I don't think we could have eaten all that ourselves!

Look out for me on the telly!
I had "See a tv show recording in the studio" on my sixty x sixty list but I never dreamed it would be this one!

* A little update... if you watched the show you would have seen a lot of the back of my head but a friend managed to capture the screen shot above, which does at least show me (in the red cardigan)  and my cake!


  1. How exciting!!!! I am so thrilled for you that you got to go, although sad that Mary didn't get to taste your cake, I am sure that she would have loved it! It is a fabulous cake!!

  2. What a thrill for you. I'll wave if I see you on telly! The cake looks wonderful and I bet it tastes just the same.

  3. How cool is that?! I am going to tune in and see if I can see you. Your cake is fabulous x

  4. wow....well if that isn't just right up your street exciting! What a shame they didn't get to taste your cake though.
    Personally I could keep a secret forever but I'm quite sure there are those you couldn't/didn't!!

    1. not 'you'...'who'!!
      Just found we don't get the programme until 5pm tomorrow...stupid rugby.

  5. How wonderful! I think I have just missed the show, but I am very glad you were able to be there for the final one!
    And how cool to have one of your list of 60 fulfilled in such a special way.
    And so, comments on the winner?
    Sandy in Bracknell

  6. Ooh how exciting! Shame they did not taste your cake as I'm sure they would have loved it. I watched the show before reading this so shall go and watch on iplayer now and look for you.

  7. So exciting and just the perfect show for you to see. I'll have to watch it on iPlayer now.

  8. Oh, blast, I've already watched the show (those cakes presented to the three finalists looked amazing). Will watch again to see if I can spot you. What an adventure you've had!

  9. Wish we overseas folks could watch BBC TV replays, but unfortunately, we are only allowed the excellent radio programmes, live and on "listen again."

    Ohhh, I would have loved a slice of that magnificent cake with its hidden treats.


  10. My family watched the show in our various homes as I had told them you would be there. Your cake was very distinctive so we all recognised it as well as you and your friend. Shame that the bakes weren't sampled this week, but it was an enjoyable end to the 2016 programme and exciting to know you were sitting at the table near to many of those who had taken part in GBBO this year. Glad you enjoyed the experience. My family think your pumpkin cake which you made into Cinderella's coach beautifully decorated and pleased it was enjoyed at the charity quiz instead. I hope you have a good weekend.

  11. How exciting! Your cake looks amaizng. I'm glad you had such a great time.

  12. How exciting! I saw the back of your head and a little bit of your cake! Thoroughly enjoyed the programme, great to see Mary on the panel, and Candice was glowing. Glad your cake was eaten and enjoyed X

  13. So, so pleased for you!! Talk about icing on the cake! lol Must have made your year.

  14. If only I'd read this sooner, I could have played 'spot Gina' on Friday night. I did give you a thought when the winner was announced! Then I watched the class of 2015 programme and decided that I'm not sure this year was up to the same standard.. but then, hey, what do I know? Might have to watch it on iplayer and see you and your cake!!

  15. Wish I had seen it earlier too! Well done you - what a fun day out. The cake looks fab too.

  16. How exciting for you Gina!! I would never be able to see you on TV, so I'm glad your friend got that screen shot of you...and your cake! The cake looks amazing of course, and at least it still got shown in an obscure sort of way. Love the snakes inside (sneaky you!). Here we call those gummy worms. That's a nice shot of you and your friend. Happy Gals!

  17. Gosh, what excitement! I am so pleased for you.


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