You will of course know Glenn Cosby from Season 4 of The Great British Bakeoff. He of the “Can a cake be too big?” fame. I first remember him from his VT on the show standing in his kitchen with his husband and his dog. Here was a “larger” gay man on national TV openly declaring he lived with his husband and he liked big bakes. I didn’t care how far he got in the show this guy was already an inspiration! What you may not know is that since his stint (last man standing) on the show Glenn has quit his previous job of teaching and been beavering away up and down the country with his stage shows “Bake It Big” and “Food Junkie“, and wowing crowds at food shows.
I had the pleasure of seeing the man in action at his London debut of his “Bake It Big” show. The first half of the show served as a warming introduction to the man and his love of all things big and baked. He handled the crowd with a smooth ease and comfort of friend popping round for tea- his charm and wit immediately setting people at ease. It would be easy to dismiss the show as an ex-reality stars attempt to grasp on to glory days and keep current in the publics eye. Not so the case with this show. Glenn confidently steps out of the glow of the Bake Off oven and stands proud in the spotlight of his own stage. Given that the main drive of the show is humour it would be easy to miss the more serious undertows. Eating disorders, coming to terms with sexuality, and triumphantly saying, ” yeah I’m a fat bloke- what about it?” are all topics that reveal much more depth to Glenn than people may remember from his stint on The Bake Off.
Indeed some might brush it off as yet another jovial fat persons anecdotal exposé but what Glenn manages to do is to show that beneath every “jovial” fat person is someone who has a past, has had struggles (inner and outer), and there is a way to come through them. But let’s not get bogged down in sombre affairs- Glenn deftly weaves the serious topics into the shows humorous subject and the audience lap it up with abandon. I would seriously give a dozen cupcakes to have sat in on one of his English lessons.
The second half of the show sees Glen introduce his “Landon taaaaaan” partner in crime- the stunning Charlotte White, aka The Burlesque Baker, of Restoration Cake fame. Lending a glam and coquettish foil to Glenn’s burly bake- manship together they joined forces to bring a vanilla salted caramel naked cake to life in all it’s towering, dripping, unctuous glory. En route Charlotte tried to convince Glenn of the joys of sugar-crafting including making sugar roses- not happening any time soon! The look on Glenn’s face as he attempted to roll delicate petals was worth the ticket price alone. This just about matched the squeals from The Burlesque Baker as she was persuaded by Mr. Cosby to try her dainty hand at spun-sugar stranding. Evidently something new for everyone to learn that night!
With the last night of his Bake It Big tour already been and gone, I seriously hope this is not the last we see of the Bake It Big baker. Funny, charming, confident and one hella’ baker this man deserves a wider audience. He ceratinly has tales to tell and lessons to teach, not only for budding bakers but also for any other misunderstood fat kids out there who are more at ease making Chelsea buns than talking Chelsea half-time scores.