Great British Bake Off has returned to our screens this week, only this time it’s gracing Channel 4. Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig have replaced the much loved comedy duo Mel and Sue as presenters. Prue Leith has big (court) shoes to fill as she replaces Mary Berry as judge, alongside the one familiar face, Paul Hollywood.
Using our emotion analysis software Emotics, we analysed over 6,000 Twitter mentions featuring the hashtags #GBBO, #BakeOffIsBack and #GreatBritishBakeOff. The Emotics tool allows us to reveal how GBBO viewers are reacting to the new season. The data is scored across 8 emotion indexes to reveal both how customers feel towards brands and what key themes are driving these emotional responses.
The Adorescore for the trending hashtag #GBBO is 51, but the online commentary is fuelled by high levels of surprise, sadness and anger. The presence of surprise is largely due to Noel Fielding being viewed as an unlikely, left-field choice for a GBBO presenter. Sadness and anger are fuelled by the introduction of lengthy adverts and the departure of fan favourites Mary, Mel and Sue.
Change is good, right? Wrong. The new presenters and new lead judge left many viewers unconvinced, lamenting the loss of Mary, Mel and Sue. Mentions of ‘Mel, Sue, Mary’ drove high levels of sadness and anger and viewers took to Twitter in their droves to speak out against the new format.
— Sam Durell (@Durellio) August 29, 2017
— meg 🐝 (@bumblebatch) August 29, 2017
New presenter Noel Fielding, as ever, is like marmite: some love him, and some hate him. But his kooky style and offbeat humour might just provide the perfect relief to a show intent on sticking to an otherwise rigid format.
Noel Fielding on #GBBO is like seeing your mate who's always off their head at their day job at the bank trying to act professional.
— Jonathan Guy (@JonnySomething) August 29, 2017
— ange 💁 (@NerdFace_92) August 29, 2017
Am so in love with Noel fielding it's ridiculous
— Lil (@lilicairney1) August 29, 2017
Almost all viewers were unanimous in their hatred of the introduction of advert breaks. This is pretty understandable, since these totalled 17 whole minutes of interruption during the 75-minute episode. Mentions of ‘adverts’ drove high levels of anger and disgust that could potentially impact the show’s ratings in the long-term.
having adverts during bake off is just wrong
— livii❕ (@liviiwalford) August 29, 2017
One thing about Bake Off being on channel 4 is that it has reaffirmed my absolute hatred for adverts.
— Friend Within (@FriendWithin) August 30, 2017
For many fans, the overall reception of the new format remains one of reluctant acceptance. Fans hungry for their baking fix have essentially no choice but to keep watching, in spite of the changes.
New Bake Off is like Brexit – I don't agree with it but I'm just going along with it anyway #GBBO
— Dan Burns (@_dnbrns) August 29, 2017
Some viewers are more fickle than others and have taken no time at all to adjust to the new format. Others, in a bid to soften the blow, have taken it upon themselves to create hilarious memes contrasting old and new presenters. Life is what you bake of it, after all.
my loyalty to Mary Berry lasted a good 30 seconds but now I'm officially converted to new bake off
— mel 🥀 (@melaniedrinnan) August 29, 2017
— joe (@joeisbored) August 29, 2017
The show has amassed a cult following and has reignited the interest in baking across the UK. During its time at the BBC, the show’s audience grew from just 2 million viewers to over 15 million. With an average viewership of 6.5 million, the season premiere marked Channel 4’s biggest audience since the Paralympics Opening Ceremony in 2012. But it is nonetheless a steep, if predictable, downturn from the average of 10 million regular BBC viewers.
The real impact of the move to Channel 4 and the change in hosts will only fully be revealed with the passing of time. Will the new Bake Off manage to retain its cult status? Will Prue ever be able to replace Mary Berry? Will Noel continue to eat inedible things and make zany comments? One thing’s for sure – it’s not always plain sailing when you try and fix what’s not broken.
At Adoreboard, our emotion analysis software Emotics allows us to measure the emotional intensity around customer experience. It unearths the underlying themes driving emotional response and provides detailed customer insights to improve customer experience.