One of my fondest memories is having tea with a friend at the Jane Austen Center in Bath, under a portrait of Colin Firth in character as Mr. Darcy. While I actually prefer the 2005 movie adaption of Pride and Prejudice, starring Matthew Macfayden looking like a smoke-show, when it comes to perfectly camp Jane Austen fandom experiences, it doesn’t get any better than encountering wacky versions of Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in the wild. And so, if I personally came across this life-sized cake painstakingly recreating Firth’s Darcy, I would have no choice but to fall to my knees, cackling through sheer tears of delight.
This absolutely perfect object is a promotion for Jane Austen Season, a programming block running in early September on Drama and UKTV Play, featuring the TV versions of Emma, Sense & Sensibility and, of course, Pride and Prejudice, which celebrates its 25th anniversary year. And so the channel created this six-foot sponge cake and unveiled it at Lyme Park, which played Pemberley in the BBC Pride and Prejudice. Specifically, they unveiled it at the lake where Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy famously went swimming. I don’t know who gives out awards for marketing campaigns, but I demand they go ahead and mail these people a plaque.
The cake itself is the work of a cake designer named Michelle Wibowo, who appears on Channel 4's Extreme Cake Makers and has made a staggering array of completely wild cakes. It apparently took 200 hours. She said in a statement: “It’s taken 20kg of flour, 20kg of butter and 45kg of sugar and I couldn’t be happier with the results. I’ve created cakes of everyone from the Queen to Beyonce, but Mr. Darcy officially tops the list as the most delicious model I’ve ever made—and I hope his legions of fans will approve!” How could we disapprove when this cake is, in fact, perfect? It looks like a resin figure sold at Michaels, except it’s a sponge cake that is recognizably Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy! This woman is a genius!
UKTV has also released a poll, in which Firth was ranked “tastiest” male lead in a British period drama over the last 30 years, the results of which are available here. Number two is Sean Bean in Sharpe (yes, very tasty), followed by Tom Hardy as Heathcliff; feel free to fight about the results in the comments.
Please enjoy this video, which brings all the close-up intimacy of the famous lake-swimming scene to this life-sized cake incarnation of Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy.