This years series of The Great British Bake Off marked its tenth year (third on Channel 4) by throwing a baker’s dozen – thirteen contestants – into the fold to compete for the Bake Off crown… or cake stand. Although many returned to watch the final these ratings were a clear indication of the sour taste this years series has left in many’s mouth; 6.9 million tuned in last night, whereas 7.5 million witnessed lsat year’s winner, Rahul Mandal, take the top spot.
The last of the year’s challenges consisted of an ultimate chocolate bake, a technical of twice-baked Stilton Soufflés, and a deceptive illusion showstopper made up of cakes, biscuits and enriched breads. In every sense of the word the finale turned out to be a real rollercoaster of emotion as we saw Steph, a four time star baker, decline in confidence until many who had hoped she would win knew her chances were dashed. This wasn’t made any sweeter by Paul’s brutal comment as he said, amidst her tears and distress, “never mind, Steph.” Cue more backlash.
In the end, it was David Atherton who took the acclaimed cake stand for the win leaving Alice Fevronia and Steph Blackwell as worthy runners-up. Throughout the competition he was a dark horse and despite never being awarded star-baker his skill and intricate talent for baking shone through, confirmed in Prue Leith’s congratulatory tweet: “Well done David. You have been an extraordinary baker since the start.”
The emotions ran high, the pressure extreme but the bakes were, as always, inspiring. Despite the controversy, the wait for next year’s series begins.
Watch the moment David was crowned winner here: