Interview with Rob BeckettCategory: Press Pack Article
Can you bake?
Not really. I don’t know, I’ve never tried. I don’t think so.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
My strength will be morale. I won’t get too stressed. My weaknesses will be anything that requires a delicate touch or being very precise.
Do you have a signature dish?
No. In the kitchen I just do all the normal stuff – roast dinners – Christmas dinner is probably my signature dish. Nothing baked, though. I just do boring family stuff.
Have you ever had any culinary disasters?
I made vol au vents once., my dad said “They’re fucking disgusting.” I was about 12, and I made them in Food Tech. He spat it back out, and I’ve not baked since.
What’s the worst thing you could be asked to make in the competition?
Something really intricate. You know, like those French pastries, with custard and jelly and everything’s perfect, it’s all really precise, you know what I mean? That sort of stuff.
Have you done anything in the way of practise or preparation for the competition?
No. I watched my wife do one of them. She’s a really good baker. I watched her do one of the challenges, but I haven’t done it.
That doesn’t sound particularly helpful.
No, not really. But that’s my own fault, I haven’t done anything!
Did you do any baking during lockdown?
None, not even banana bread. Nothing.
Are you competitive? How badly do you want to win?
I’m only competitive at stuff I’m good at. And I’ll probably be crap at this, so I don’t really mind, to be honest. I quite like winding up other competitive people. I enjoy that. But if I haven’t got an instant aptitude for something, I don’t really care, to be honest.
Why is SU2C important to you?
To be fair, if you can dick about with your mates in a tent, and that has any impact on awareness or raising money, that’s amazing, so three hours of helping by having fun is a brilliant thing. It’s such a great cause.
As a comedian, you must spend a lot of time on the road. Do you end up eating a lot of baked goods?
Yeah. It’s more pizza and kebabs on tour though. It’s bad, isn’t it?
Are you more of a Greggs or an artisan Patisserie sort of a guy?
I do like a savoury bake, I love a Gregg’s savoury pastry more than something with the word chocolat in it.
You’ve done everything from ballet to colonic irrigation for TV shows. In terms of discomfort, where does baking in front of the nation sit?
To be fair, once you’ve had a tube up your arse, or been forced to do ballet, and embarrassed yourself in a number if different ways, this is a lovely day out, really. I’ve got two toddlers, I’m loving being able to cook without someone tugging at my leg asking for a yoghurt.
You were at school with Tom, is that right?
Yes, we went to school together. It’s fun with him, because he’s got it all to lose. He’s on Bake Off: Extra Slice, he does Bake Off: The Professionals, he should know what he’s doing. You can’t do that and not know what you’re doing. So the pressure’s off for me.
Will your history add to the sense of rivalry?
Well, it’ll just be funny if I’m better than him, won’t it? Considering that’s what he does. So hopefully I can beat him. I don’t care about the others, as long as I can beat Tom, and I can wind him up. But I don’t want that to lead to me replacing him on those shows. I think that would do a real, long-lasting damage to our friendship!