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!