Catch up on all the laughs, tears, and baking disasters from the GBBO final – live!
Tonight marks the final of the Great British Bake Off 2016. This year’s series has been somewhat poignant following the recent announcement that the show will be moving to Channel 4, with beloved judge Mary Berry stepping down, and presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins also refusing to “follow the dough”. The future of Bake Off remains uncertain making tonight’s episode particularly bittersweet.
Last year 13.4 million people watched Nadiya Hussain’s emotional win, making it the most watched television programme of 2015 in the UK. She’s gone on to write a cookery book, and has recently signed a major deal with the BBC, so the stakes are high for whoever wins. An estimated 10-15 million are expected to tune in this evening in the UK, with millions more in Ireland and online, will you be one of them?
19.55: Get your box of tissues, your cup of tea, and your slice of lemon drizzle cake ready – this is the last time we’ll see the dream team in action on the BBC. It still doesn’t feel real that Channel 4 have paid £75 million for a tent and Paul Hollywood, so we’ll have to enjoy every minute of this while we still can.
19.58: Many are still mourning the loss of super-chill Selasi who was kicked out of the tent last week. He definitely shouldn’t have been in the final but we just loved having him around.
20.00: And the credits roll! Who will prevail? Will there be tears, soggy bottoms, or cake calamities?
20.01: The three titans of trifle enter the hallowed tent for the final time! Candice Brown, a PE teacher, is the favourite to win. She’s been star baker three times, but she often fails by giving herself too much to do. Jane Beedle, a garden designer, has been consistently good throughout. And finally, 25 year old engineer Andrew Smyth won star baker last week due to his meticulous precision – will he be on a roll tonight?
20.02: The theme for the final is Royalty, and the first challenge is a meringue crown! No, I have no idea what that is either, but Mary informs us that she’s looking for for a three tier meringue, with filling, and decoration.
20.04: Jane’s keeping things simple with fruit and cream. It’s a family favourite, but is she doing enough for a final?
20.05: Candice is going all out – four layers of pavlova with a tiny crown on top, mango curd, strawberries and glittered pistachios! Paul and Mary seem skeptical that she can do it all within the three hour time limit. She’s also opted for a classic red lipstick today (just in case you were wondering, Candice always has great lipstick)
20.06: Andrew’s going for a classic meringue that’s spiced up with pecan praline and layers of blackberry fool, but he appears to be more nervous than the girls – he’s already dropped a couple of bowls.
20.08: Fun fact: last year’s winner Nadiya was crowned star baker three times throughout the series (just like Candice), but the majority of previous champions have only been star baker once, so this is no sure indication of victory.
20.10: Candice is cooking her strawberries in prosecco. Of course, because she’s Candice and she’s fabulous. “You can’t out-Candice Candice”, Jane remarks from behind her.
20.11: The meringues are being constructed; the tension is mounting! Jane somehow manages to say “my bottom’s cracking” with a straight face.
20.13: TIME IS UP
20.14: The judges don’t seem certain about Andrew’s blackberry crown, and his poor little face looks so disappointed.
20.15: Candice’s looks extraordinary. I think it might be the meringue crown of my dreams. And she’s received a Hollywood handshake – the highest honour from Paul. Well deserved Candice.
20.16: Jane seems to have proved that simple can sometimes work better, the judges seems impressed. In fact, Paul hasn’t said a word – he’s too busy wolfing it down. A SECOND HOLLYWOOD HANDSHAKE? FOR JANE? Well now things are heating up.
20.17: Andrew is looking a little defeated, but there’s still two more rounds to go. There hasn’t been a male winner of Bake Off since John Whaite was crowned in 2012, so will Andrew be able to do it for the boys?
20.18: ROUND 2: The technical challenge is…..a Victoria sandwich? Doesn’t seem too challenging for a final?
20.19: Oh the catch is that they have to make a Victoria sandwich without a recipe or any instructions. LOL, I take it back. Good luck lads.
20.20: In spite of the lack of instructions, all the contestants seem to know what they’re doing – that’s pretty impressive.
20.21: Andrew is weighing his eggs. Because he’s an engineer obviously, we’d expect nothing less from him.
20.23: OH MY GOD JANE ALMOST DROPPED A CAKE. It’s fine. She’s got it. Crisis averted.
20.24: The three cakes are brought to the gingham altar of judging for the final time. Two sponges, raspberry jam, and buttercream, what could go wrong?
20.26: The cakes will now be ranked. It’s very close but Andrew has come first! He is redeemed! Paying attention to the technical details has payed off for the meticulous engineer. Mary praises it for an “even bake, pale golden colour, good jam, and smooth buttercream”.
20.27: So the bakers are on a level playing field going into the final challenge. The trophy could be anyone’s at this point.
20.28: Mary is promising “the most exciting showstopper challenge we’ve ever had”. What could they possibly do as a fitting finale for our beloved baking show?
20.29: Ok, so the finalists must make a picnic consisting of…deep breath… one chocolate celebration cake, 12 puff pastry sausage rolls, 12 mini quiches, 12 savory scones, and 12 fruit and custard tarts. In 5 hours? I don’t think I could do that if I had 5 days!
20.30: ANDREW HAS A SPREADSHEET TO KEEP TRACK OF IT ALL. Oh Andrew. Making science cool since 1991.
20.32: I’m going to miss Mel and Sue’s puns. I just don’t think that any other presenters could annoy the contestants in the adorable way that they do.
20.33: ANDREW SKIPPED HIS COLLEGE GRADUATION FOR BAKE OFF? I really don’t think he’s gonna win at this point, but I just love everything about him.
20.35: I can’t even keep up with what’s going on right now to be honest, there’s pastry and fruits and flour everywhere. I feel almost as panicked as the bakers look.
20.38: Meanwhile, all their family and friends and the previous contestants are having a picnic outside the tent! In the rain, of course, because it’s a proper British summer picnic.
20.39: Val is back, and Benjamina, and Tom! Kate sounds a little bit bitter about being kicked out, and Selasi is lovely as ever!
20.41: The contestants are all putting the finishing touches to their chocolate celebration cakes – this needs to be the centrepiece of their final challenge. There’s no point having great scones if you have a dodgy centrepiece, that’s not what a GBBO champ does.
20.42: Oh no! Jane is having issues with her cake decoration. So she’s just slapping some glitter on the side? This looks terrible, like something I’ve made myself.
20.43: FIVE HOURS IS UP! I don’t know about the contestants, but I’m certainly exhausted.
20.44: There are so many baked goods. I don’t know how little Mary Berry is going to be able to try them all.
20.45: Jane’s up first, with some soggy bottoms on her sausage rolls! Her scones don’t have enough butternut squash in them, and her chocolate cake looks like an absolute disaster. Everything seems to taste good, but there’s no ‘wow’ moments here. A real shame for Jane.
20.46: Andrew’s been as meticulous as ever, but hasn’t managed to escape a soggy bottom either! The judges like the taste of everything, but there are a lot of mistakes in his picnic spread.
20.48: Has Candice done enough to secure a win? Mary thinks her selection looks “exciting”. Her little piggy sausage rolls are a hit, not a soggy bottom in sight, and her chocolate and orange cake is delicious according to the judges.
20.49: The bakers are all looking unsure but I think Candice has nailed it. She’s been the most consistent throughout, and definitely did the best tonight. Her bakes have always been creative and she really stands out from the pack.
20.51: Umbrellas are up outside the tent but it doesn’t seems to have dampened spirits as everyone gathers eagerly to hear the result.
20.52: And the winner is…..CANDICE!
20.53: “She had determination and passion…she really has excelled and everything always looked gorgeous” – Mary Berry
20.54: After some obligatory crying from Candice, we cut to scenes of the entire cast celebrating. You get a genuine sense of joy and camaraderie from everyone involved, and that’s the true spirit of GBBO. There are no great prizes to be won (the only official prize is the coveted title and a charming cake plate), it’s just a simple programme about sharing friendship and baking.
20.58: As the show draws to a close, there is no mention of a farewell to the BBC and the current format that we’ve all grown to love, as the final episode was filmed months before the recent developments occurred. Few details are known about the direction the programme will take in its controversial move, but we can be certain that The Great British Bake Off will never be the same again.
Farewell Bake Off, you’ve been a great friend for the past seven years.