CHRISTOPHER STEVENS: In Bake Off's stifling tent, hysteria is rising faster ...

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The Great British Bake Off

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Dublin Murders

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Hard to recall now, but for a few days back in the summer it was hotter in Britain than the Med. And in The Great British Bake Off (C4) tent, the heat was getting to people.

Alice was brandishing an electric fan like it was her oxygen mask. Henry was wiping rivers of sweat from his face and Steph wrapped a soaking wet tea-towel around her head, like Hilda Ogden having a nervous breakdown.

Presenters Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding seemed to be succumbing to heat stroke, too.

It probably all made sense at the time, but we were left with the impression that, after eight weeks, the show reached its quarter-final stage in a state of near-hysteria. The mood swings were affecting the bakers, too

It probably all made sense at the time, but we were left with the impression that, after eight weeks, the show reached its quarter-final stage in a state of near-hysteria. The mood swings were affecting the bakers, too

Their opening skits and links have been growing ever more surreal this series, but now they veered into outright delirium.

At the start of the show, Noel pretended to find 4ft 11in Sandi asleep in the cutlery drawer.

Later, they both wore pink oven mitts for a game they called lobster arm-wrestling.

Then Noel donned a headdress that looked like a boiled crab.

Perhaps all these are symptoms of a show that been running too long this year. By now, we ought to have reached the final, but there are two more episodes to go

Perhaps all these are symptoms of a show that been running too long this year. By now, we ought to have reached the final, but there are two more episodes to go

It probably all made sense at the time, but we were left with the impression that, after eight weeks, the show reached its quarter-final stage in a state of near-hysteria.

The mood swings were affecting the bakers, too. 

Picking up the recipe for the technical challenge, a Moroccan pie made with flaky warqa pastry, 20-year-old university student Henry swaggered: ‘If anyone has heard of this, I will get naked — I’m that confident.’

At the other end of the emotional scale, Steph was in tears because she thought her warqa pie wouldn’t cook in time. 

In the end, she did better than Henry, who kept his clothes on even when he realised that some of the others did actually know what they were doing.

Perhaps all these are

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