The Great British Bake Off, review by Jim Shelley 

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It was the semi-final of The Great British Bake and Patisserie Week - a mouth-watering prospect, particularly when Paul smiled that combining them was ‘pretty cruel.’

Sadly though, Noel Fielding wasn’t really joking with his assessment of an impromptu chat with Rosie about the less romantic realities of her work as a vet. ‘This is more interesting than the show!’ he cried gleefully.

Strangely, it proved a non-event.

Gruesome: Noel Fielding wasn¿t really joking with his assessment of an impromptu chat with Rosie about the less romantic realities of her work as a vet

Gruesome: Noel Fielding wasn’t really joking with his assessment of an impromptu chat with Rosie about the less romantic realities of her work as a vet

Two of the contestants (Alice and Steph) qualified quite comfortably – by being consistent rather than brilliant. While the other pair (Rosie and David) were so hapless, neither particularly deserved to go through to this year’s grand finale.

To be honest, Rosie’s revelations about her job were more riveting, albeit possibly too informative for some viewers.

‘What’s the smelliest thing you’ve come across?!’ Noel wondered, as Rosie prepared her Showstopper.

‘Nasty abscesses can be bad,’ she said, all too convincingly.

Unappetising: Rosie the vet¿s chat with Noel about castrating pigs proved unappetising for the judges and she failed to make the finals of the competition

Unappetising: Rosie the vet’s chat with Noel about castrating pigs proved unappetising for the judges and she failed to make the finals of the competition 

Earlier he’d become intrigued by the less romantic aspects of life as a vet after she informed him matter-of-factly: ‘I’ve castrated many pigs.’

‘What’s the biggest animal you’ve castrated?’ he, um, probed.

‘A giant bull,’ she said casually.

Aren’t they all, you thought? Or was it a massive, freakish, specimen?

Made it: Two of the contestants - Alice and Steph (pictured) - qualified quite comfortably ¿ by being consistent rather than brilliant. While the other pair - Rosie and David - were so hapless

Made it: Two of the contestants - Alice and Steph (pictured) - qualified quite comfortably – by being consistent rather than brilliant. While the other pair - Rosie and David - were so hapless

We’ll never know. Rosie had cakes to make so their crash-course ended there and eventually the Baker the judges decided would miss out on the final.

You couldn’t help thinking Paul and Prue Leith had overheard Rosie’s conversations with Noel and made her crème pat slightly less appetising.

And how many pigs was the ‘many pigs’ she’d castrated with those same fingers?

Anyway I digress – as Noel Fielding did, unsurprisingly.

Oops: You couldn¿t help thinking Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith had overheard Rosie¿s conversations with Noel and made her crème pat slightly less appetising

Oops: You couldn’t help thinking Paul and Prue Leith had overheard Rosie’s conversations with Noel and made her crème pat slightly less appetising

The presenters had 75 minutes to fill and only four (dull) Bakers to work with.

Sandi Toksvig overdid her obsession with domed tartlets during the Signature Challenge. Noel meanwhile spent the show teasing Rosie, Alice, Steph, and David then hastily assuring them: ‘I’m joking!’ (Never a good sign.)

By the end they’d resorted to silly tricks, as if they were hosting a children’s birthday party.

You couldn’t really blame them though.

Working hard: The presenters had 75 minutes to fill and only four (dull) Bakers to work with. Sandi Toksvig overdid her obsession with domed tartlets during the Signature Challenge

Working hard: The presenters had 75 minutes to fill and only four (dull) Bakers to work with. Sandi Toksvig overdid her obsession with domed tartlets during the Signature Challenge

The four contestants arrived wearing ties, in honour of Henry. Which was a touching gesture but only made you wish he were still in it. And reminded you he should have been.

Without the series’ most charming, challenging, Baker, it wasn’t much of a show or a contest.

Alice was, deservedly, Star Baker but even she struggled with two of the three Challenges in Patisserie Week.

Missing out: The four contestants arrived wearing ties, in honour of Henry. Which was a touching gesture but only made you wish he were still in it

Missing out: The four contestants arrived wearing ties, in honour of Henry. Which was a touching gesture but only made you wish he were still in it

For the domed tartlets in the Signature, scornfully scoffed that her pipework was ‘not particularly good.’

Then she came last in the Technical with her attempt at a gateau St. Honore, admitting/quipping: ‘Je ne sais pas puff.’

She soared through to the

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