Oh all right. That's a bit click-bait of me. I didn't get onto the GBBO as a baker. Since I'm a professional, that would be against the rules.
But I did get to see the first show at the television centre.
Yep, that same TV centre I grew up seeing throughout my childhood. You can see it in the photo - those iconic dots. That special light-coloured brick we all grew used to.
But let me back up the truck a little.
How This All Started
I applied for GBBO An Extra Slice tickets just a few days ago. (For those not familiar with the concept, this is the after-show - the one where Jo Brand meets the baker who's had to leave.)
I was asked which dates would suit me best. They said they couldn't guarantee anything.
Little did I know two days later I'd be driving down the M4 with my own signature bake, desperately hoping I'd get in.
The offer the production company had made had come with a disclaimer: having a ticket didn't mean you'd get in (they send out more tickets than they have so they can guarantee a full studio). They told me to get there early. That there'd be a queue. That I ought to bring a bake.
I Did Everything They Told Me
As soon as the last customer left The Bakehouse, my friend and I leapt into the car and zoomed off to London, with the signature bake safely tucked away in the boot.
I have to say, I was in two minds about what would happen. I thought we'd either arrive first and be waiting for hours before anyone else turned up, or there'd be an enormous line already snaking its way around London and no hope of us getting in.
Turns out, we were second in the queue.
A Promising Start
This was a relief. So was the weather (no rain, no wind & not too hot). Three hours later, we had a security check and the option of nipping to the loo. By this time, there really was an enormous line behind us so I was extremely grateful we'd got there early. People were being told they might not get in (the horror!).
Five Hours Later
After what seemed like forever, we finally got the go-ahead and made it into the studio. Although we hadn't managed to get the VIP tables and chairs (ha ha ha, as if!), we were seated at the front of the dress circle, as it were, which was very exciting.
And I have to leave my story there for fear of being hunted down by Channel 4 and put before the firing squad. I'll update you in my next blog post about what happened afterwards (and what bake I took with me).
In the meantime, you can see the first episode of The Great British Bake Off tonight at 8pm on Channel 4. Until then, my lips are sealed!
What bake would you take onto the GBBO An Extra Slice? Do share your pics and ideas below!