The Great British Bake Off is back! This will really only be news to fans of the nicest, least offensive piece of reality telly out there, but surprisingly, there are quite a few of those fans out there. Folks at the BBC probably didn’t expect that the BBC2 competition where 13 (as of this season) contestants compete to see whose batter is the lightest and fluffiest and whose cake/bread/pasty is the fluffiest or crispiest, would become such a huge hit.

Yet here it is, coming back for a fourth season – same judges, same hosts, pretty much same set-up. Apart from the contestant count, and the judges newly instated right to kick off two contestants instead of one on any given week, little has changed. The Great British Bake Off remains essentially an hour of admittedly very nice people mixing things in bowls, putting things in ovens and then taking said things out of ovens to reveal their accomplishments.

The Great British Bake Off Cast, Royal Festival Hall
Welcome back to the sweetest hosts on television!

But why has something most of us find tedious and boring and/or far too time-consuming to replace a quick trip to the shops, suddenly become almost required viewing. Allow us to once again point the finger at the hipsters. After the sub-culture collectively realised that the model of “liking things before they become cool” wasn’t a sustainable one, those lovable indie internet dwellers went one irony level deeper – unironically and enthusiastically liking, well, the least obscure things ever. Enter Honey Boo Boo, 90s boybands (and 2010s boybands for that matter) and of course, The Great British Bake Off. So has the show become cool now? Or is it just that, on your typical Tuesday night, watching the Bake Off is the one thing that takes the least mental energy and effort? Or maybe it’s just that everyone enjoys looking at food almost as much as eating it.

Meanwhile, Bake Off kicked off (ha!) last night with its three classic rounds – the Signature Bake, Technical Challenge and Show Stopper and the familiar faces – judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood and a-bit-too-nice presenters Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc. It’s back for another 12 episodes. So, will you be watching?

Even Nigella is excited.