Ace of Cakes found my TV review hit a 'Duff' note

BY Sunday night I had rarely watched a single TV programme – except for about 15 hours of sport – that week. Not good for a professional television reviewer.

When I say professional, I mean I turned up for work and, in-between all my other jobs as features editor, spent 30 minutes or so writing about something I had seen.

I had started off well, writing a pithy piece about Midsomer Murders, crow-barring in some high-end documentaries and history programmes to prove I wasn’t some airhead and hammering Saturday night talent shows that I might have caught five minutes of with the aim of revealing myself as being intellectually superior to the viewers of such.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

I didn’t necessarily believe I was, it was just that the tactic enabled me to say a little bit more than “it was really good”.

It was around the time of an explosion of food programmes, in which the presenters would attempt to ramp up the tension by over-cooking (oh yes!) the drama involved in a cheery toppling from the crown of an iced-bun decorated with an approximation of the fizzog of Ted Bundy (I don’t think that cake was ever made. Well, not on this programme.

I happened upon Ace of Cakes, a programme about an American company called Charm City Cakes, which was owned by one Duff Goldman.

Each episode (yes, I watched more than one) went something along the lines of a request for an unusual cake (say, a baked approximation of the Mona Lisa or Donald Trump’s head superimposed on the moon) being submitted, plans rapidly drawn up to meet the demand, said cake being made and carefully put together – with, natch, a few near disasters on the way – and then carefully transported 2,000 miles to the venue of some wealthy family celebrating a 21st birthday.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

I wasn’t in a good place – Bolton to be precise (that is a joke, I like Bolton) – and this programme brought out the worst in me.

Hence I was delighted to discover that my review had irked the makers of Ace of Cakes, who emailed from California – remember, this was 2009, when we didn’t know emails could travel so far.

The slightly over-critical response of the clearly touchy (I had obviously hit a nerve with my no-nonsense approach) read thus:

“Andrew Mosley’s recent article on Ace of Cakes (December 3) is so unfair and actually quite mean spirited on so many levels.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Your cheesy cheap shots on America and its citizens aside, it’s clear you don’t get it at all. Ace of Cakes is a much deeper show than you describe, as demonstrated in the sheer numbers of ardent fans who faithfully tune-in to both new shows as well as re-runs.

“Sales of past season DVDs are strong, as more and more people discover the subtle sheer brilliance of the entertainment value of this show as well as the inspiration it instils to all age and gender groups.

“The fact that Charm City Cakes has been commissioned to make the premier party cakes for two Harry Potter movie premiers in a row, several cakes for some of England’s notables such as Sir Roger Moore, is evidence this band of creative geniuses have an enviable formula. Their unbridled creativity, superior skill and fine craftsmanship, dedicated work ethic and justified pride in their product, only to top it off with having fun all at the same time, just further contrasts the “banal”, as you put it, from the pedestrian, boring, ordinary lives of those without vision or enthusiasm.

“It is clear our collective American sense of humour is based on cerebral activity as opposed to other cultures, if we are to take your words as valuable.

Jacqueline Helitzer Winch, Palm Springs, California”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Unfair, mean-spirited, cheesy, cheap – I barely recognised myself, and none of what has happened in America since then has convinced me that lots of people tuning in and buying DVDs is evidence of anything like good taste or cerebral activity, and Sir Roger Moore ordering one meaning anything other than he could afford it.

I’ll accept that they were putting out some great looking cakes – no idea what they tasted like – that they were rightfully proud of and a clearly annoyed Jacqueline’s line about the banal, “pedestrian, boring, ordinary lives of those without vision or enthusiasm”, was pretty good, but then again, as I have just discovered, she is Duff’s mum.

I was just pleased somebody had read it. If only I could find what I wrote.