Great British Bake Off's Noel Fielding Could Be The Surprise Style Icon Of 2017

In a deeply uncompetitive field, the new face of GBBO is already the best - and most stylish - man on British prime time

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Last year Channel 4 brutally ransacked the BBC to kidnap its prize show, The Great British Bake Off. To add insult to injury - and to try and seamlessly transfer its huge viewing figures - the channel then set about trying to poach the old presenters, and where that failed, hired knock off replicas of them from the world of light entertainment.

So it was that Paul Hollywood signed up in seconds to chase the money and the glory, because that's what fading WWF wrestlers do. Mary Berry was turned off and put into storage to be replaced by another disconcertingly sexy robo-gran. And comedy double act Mel or Sue were replaced by extravagantly-fringed panel show stalwart Sandi Toksvig and – most controversially – semi-Goth funny man Noel Fielding.

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Having tuned into the show for the very first time last night, I can confirm he is the best thing about it.

Here's a remarkable fact for you, before I continue: Noel Fielding is 44 years old.

I say remarkable because, according to the laws of fashion, any man wearing long hair and skinny trousers in his fifth decade should be either a bona fide rock star – in which case, fair play to them – or the kind of tragic presence that vaguely depresses teenagers at music festivals.

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Fielding has both and yet is neither, and it's worth looking at why.

For last night's GBBO grand premiere, he wore a light cream shirt decorated with the silhouette of several blackbirds in mid flight. It was softly structured, but not louche. Eye-catching, but not obnoxious. He wore it with two buttons undone, resisting the younger man's temptation to knock off a third (this is prime time, after all), and paired it with some skinny (but not too skinny) black jeans and a pair of black Chelsea boots - a nice, neutral base that allowed the shirt to be heard.

Could Noel Fielding surreptitiously teach the men of middle England to up their style game?

It was, in short, a pretty flawless example of statement dressing by a man at an age in life when we're supposed to have given up trying anything of the sort. A shirt with blackbirds on it is not to everyone's tastes, but, as well as being a cute baking reference, it matched his personality perfectly (he even looked a bit like the crows himself, which may be a case of 'matching' taken a step too far).

GBBO's secondary demographic of cajoled middle-aged fathers and husbands, therefore, could probably learn a thing or two more from this weird-looking Cure tribute act than they first thought. Could it be that Noel Fielding surreptitiously teaches the men of middle England to branch out a little and up their style game? Don't rule it out.

Off course, it's not as though there is much sartorial competition on the set of Bake Off. Paul Hollywood still looks for all the world like he's been teleported from the back door of a Grimsby nightclub in 1998, with his black 'going out' shirt and his 'I saw Brad Pitt had one' goatee. The Express is already trying to oust Fielding for being a 'bad fit' for the family-friendly show, seemingly oblivious to the fact a man who I'd bet real money keeps a carrier bag of porno mags in his car at all times 'just in case' has, staggeringly, been presiding over the baking efforts of the Great British public for years now.

Even still, expect Fielding's wardrobe to become a more integral and commented upon aspect of the show as it continues and viewers not only get used to him, but learn to love him - for love him they surely shall in time.

There was one moment of genuine comedy in Bake Off 2.0 when Fielding, forgetting for a moment where he was, plucked a entire marigold (a real one, not one made of icing) from a contestant's dish and pretended to eat it.

"That tasted like a clown's nose," he said, a small but welcome bolt of surrealism fired into a cosy haze of marshmallow innuendos and peppy platitudes. It was, like his choice of clothes, a dash of something spicy in the soufflé, a drop rum in the birthday cake. Let's hope, like the contestants, he goes from strength to strength as the challenges mount. Next week's jumper already looks quite promising.