A rainy day in the middle of France after a really busy week so it gives me a chance for a quick blog update.
We’ve stopped over in Lyon tonight on our way to Provence. Last week’s Bake Off was so good that I’ve got the folks at Eurocamp on the case to see if there’s a way I can watch the next few weeks from our campsite. Any tips on how to watch British TV online while in France are very welcome by the way! And a quick public service announcement: our ferry crossing from Dover to Calais was really fast and efficient. No problems at all, despite what the news had been saying over the past few weeks.
This week started at full pace and didn’t stop. Not complaining though, it beats working and it’s been so much fun! Today an interview with me is featured in the Sunday Times Money section for this ‘Fame & Fortune’ feature, which they shot at my house on Monday. I’m getting used to my house being a part time studio, at least it gives me a reason to try and keep the place tidy! Thankfully the photographer was a dog lover too and we took about 80 attempts to get the cover shot of my daft Vizsla, Leia. She’s one photogenic hound!
On Tuesday I popped into my publishers, Quadrille, to sign 500 copies of my book, B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself. It was a bit like that feeling when you’ve got a massive pile of laundry to sort, but more exciting. When I saw the books all piled up I couldn’t really get my head around that many different people wanting to own a copy of my book, but on pre-sales alone B.I.Y. already seems to be doing well, so fingers crossed for when it comes out on 27 August. I really can’t wait to physically see it in the shops. I’ve added a page to my website here to show where I’ll be going to do demos and books signings over the next few months and I’ll make sure I keep this updated as more things get confirmed. Looking forward to the first signing after it comes out, at The Big Feastival at the end of this month.
Wednesday was Bake Off day! I spent the morning at Media City up in Manchester, where I’d been invited to be on BBC Breakfast with Louise Minchin and Bill Turnbull. I made them the chocolate cake from my book; the cake I thought would best survive the train ride up there intact! It’s one of the easiest recipes in B.I.Y. and it’s absolutely delicious. As soon as filming stopped it got demolished by the crew. On Wednesday evening I did a quick interview with the BBC News Channel by Skype from my kitchen. It was with the news legend Nicholas Owen, who addressed me as ‘Mr Burr’ throughout, which made me feel very grown up!
I then settled in with tea, cake and my laptop (for Twitter) to watch Episode 1 of The Great British Bake Off. I am still a bit freaked out by how popular the show is – over 9 million viewers for the first episode in mid-August! #GBBO was trending all day on Twitter and there have been loads of articles this week about things as small as the switch from KitchenAids to kMix stand mixers – crazy that this is ‘news’! I love tweeting along with the show; it’s real event TV. I usually watch each episode a couple of times of a Wednesday evening to take it all in. This year’s bakers came across really well and showed loads of potential. I wrote my review of the show for the Radio Times here and also did a more food-based review for my publishers’ Cooked.com website.
The tube strike didn’t hold me back on Thursday and I popped in to BBC Broadcasting House in the morning to do a whole load of radio interviews for regional BBC stations, I think nearly twenty back-to-back. Friday finished the week off with a day spent filming some of my book recipes for Quadrille (see picture above). The food writer Rosie Birkett was kind enough to let us take over her gaff to shoot. One of the coolest things about shoots like this is working with food stylists and technicians. When they pre-prep my recipes and they turn out just like I make them (often better!) I get such a buzz as it means the recipes work and are easy to follow. I can’t wait to see people’s home versions of the bakes in B.I.Y. – send me a picture if you make any of them!
Anyway, I’ve got a holiday to get back to. But my blog got more hits this week than I’d had since October so I thought I’d better write a quick entry for any new folks having a nose about. And as I said, send me any tips for how I can watch Bake Off abroad. In the meantime I’ll keep my Twitter and Instagram up to date on my hols. Au revoir!