Cape Town – If it’s one thing South Africans love doing it’s baking, especially for fun.
Avid bakers and baked good connoisseurs are in for a treat when the local version of popular British show, The Great South Africa Bake Off kicks off on Tuesday, 6 October at 20:00 on BBC Lifestyle (DStv 174).
12 amateur bakers will bake off for eight weeks to crown SA’s first Bake Off winner.
To add to the entertainment and to keep the bakers at ease will be the job of the two presenters, comedians Anne Hirsh and Donovan Goliath.
We had the opportunity to chat to the two about their new gig when we were invited to the top secret media SA Bake Off media day and got a taste of what to expect from pair.
Why did you decide audition for the presenters spots, it’s so different from your day job?
Anne: It is very different; I never thought I would do something like this. Rapid Blue contacted me and told me about the project I then met with one of the heads and did a little audition and then it was a bit of a waiting game. I then found out Donovan is also working on it, then I said no!
Donovan: You see, this is what I have to put up with, every day!
Anne: I wanted to do this show because it’s fun and warm. Baking makes people feel good; it’s making a huge comeback, you know. It’s like major throwback Thursday. It’s a feel good show but with major cliff hangers.
Donovan: For me it was literally last minute, they asked me to come in for an audition and it was just intense. I auditioned and wasn’t expecting anything. I flew to London the next day, landed and while I was shooting a commercial my manager called to say, congratulations you’re the co-host. And I was like, who’s the other host? And then I started doing some research and then Anne’s name came up and I said thank goodness! See, I’m nice about it and happy that this was going to be a competent person to work with.
Have you two worked together before?
Donovan: First time!
And how are the two of you getting along?
Anne: (looking at Donovan) What is that face, what is that face?
Donovan: I’m kidding, I love working with Anne.
Anne: Our role is to have fun with the bakers and to take the pressure off them.
Donovan: Yeah, we’re the glue.
Anne: And we have fun with each other, he annoys me but I love him.
Donovan: Of course, there has to be a little bit of urgh! And she just takes forever to walk because she has a broken leg.
Anne: Must you bring that up? I just slightly hurt my ankle!
How have you guys been finding the process and working with everyone so far?
Anne: This has been amazing. The standard, the bakers, the general vibe has just been so much fun and they just let us play. Our role is to have fun with the bakers and play.
Donovan: They give us a script and we kinda follow it but we’re also allowed to put our own spin on it. It’s like here’s a colouring book you just colour in, which is nice. The dynamic between us, it’s the same but also a different in how we interact with all the bakers. It’s very intense, you know, and we’re there to help them catch their breath when it gets rough.
Donovan you’ve been in a reality competition environment, Strictly Come Dancing. Has this helped you be more emphatic with the bakers?
Donovan: Yes, it is. The competition starts off with them being a unit, almost like a family they’re all friends, they a cause they only have each other. Then eventually what happens is that they realise this is a competition and you start to notice them start to slip away and get into their zones. I know when that process is going to happen and I’ here to keep them going.
Anne: For a lot of them it was just trying to get into the competition and then they’re like ‘okay I’m here now’. But then the further they go they actually start to realise that there is actually the possibility that they could win.
What can viewers expect from the two of you?
Anne: Just absolute hilarity, obviously my good looks and my charm, my talent and then of course Donovan will be there.
Donovan, are you going to bust some of those moves you learnt?
Donovan: I might bust some moves, I might try and bake something.
Anne: I’ll be sick that day.
Donovan: (Laughs) We’re there to put the final cherry on top; to hold the show together, to give it a quirk to keep people glued to the screen. Hilarity, fun, charm and good looks!
How do you plan to keep in shape with all these tempting baked goods around you?
Anne: It is a genuine worry for me.
Donovan: I’ll be fine, I think I hope.
Anne: You see he exercises, I don’t know how to. I was never taught that!
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