Great British Bake Off: Jim Shelley reviews the final

The Great British Bake Off final all came down to the Showstopper Challenge but there could only be one winner as far as most viewers were concerned.

(No, not just because Prue Leith had already tweeted who it was #PartyAtMaryBerrys #GinAndVictoriaSpongeAllRound)

Kate had threatened to do a naked cartwheel if she won - something no one wanted to see. This was the Great British Bake Off after all even if it was on Channel 4. (Some things are sacred.)

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Victorious: The Great British Bake Off final all came down to the Showstopper Challenge but there could only be one winner as far as most viewers were concerned (Sophie Faldo pictured with her trophy) 

Victorious: The Great British Bake Off final all came down to the Showstopper Challenge but there could only be one winner as far as most viewers were concerned (Sophie Faldo pictured with her trophy) 

As for Steven, he was such a smug egomaniac he would’ve been unbearable if he’d won. Even more unbearable…

Thank heavens there was a third candidate and we could all join Prue Leith in cheering: ‘bravo Sophie.’

It’s hard to say whether Sophie deserved her place in the GBBO Hall of Fame alongside Nadiya Hussain, Frances Thingy, and um, the other five winners.

Unbearable: As for Steven, he was such a smug egomaniac he would’ve been unbearable if he’d won. Even more unbearable…

Unbearable: As for Steven, he was such a smug egomaniac he would’ve been unbearable if he’d won. Even more unbearable…

What we know for sure is that Steven Carter-Bailey was third/last.

Steven had been fancied to win the series from the outset – particularly by himself.

Rumours about the 34-year-old marketing expert included that he was already a semi-professional caterer and that he’d become so big headed after he won Star Baker in the opening three episodes they’d had to order a bigger tent.

‘I’ve ticked every box,’ he purred in the opening VT of the final. ‘Star Bakers, Paul handshakes…

Two, not ‘every’ box then...

‘There’s one huge box that needs a big tick in it: the winner !’

Or ‘the loser’ as it transpired…

Sacred: Kate had threatened to do a naked cartwheel if she won - something no one wanted to see. This was the Great British Bake Off after all even if it was on Channel 4. (Some things are sacred.)

Sacred: Kate had threatened to do a naked cartwheel if she won - something no one wanted to see. This was the Great British Bake Off after all even if it was on Channel 4. (Some things are sacred.)

His obsession with winning had been so blatant from the start of the competition it bordered on the pathological, as it had seemingly from an early age.

One of his breads in the Signature Challenge was shaped like a ‘Windsor tie knot’ he said.

‘I remember doing knots when I was in the Scouts just because I wanted to get that badge,’ he recalled slightly psychotically. ‘I did get my badge too. And the one for baking.’

Who would doubt it?

Frontrunner: What we know for sure is that Steven Carter-Bailey was third/last. Steven had been fancied to win the series from the outset – particularly by himself

Frontrunner: What we know for sure is that Steven Carter-Bailey was third/last. Steven had been fancied to win the series from the outset – particularly by himself

You sensed the judges relished giving Steven their verdicts on his breads more than they’d enjoyed tasting them.

‘They do look pretty terrible,’ began, almost smiling.

‘The toasted garlic looks good,’ consoled Leith, before twisting the knife and adding: ‘but it’s actually tough.’

Steven’s spelt bread tasted ‘gluey.’ Not ideal…

To his credit, Steven revived his chances by winning the Technical Challenge.

‘A very good ginger biscuit,’ Prue concluded. (Aren’t they all?)

The result (1. Steven 2. Sophie. 3. Kate) was an exact reverse of the Signature Challenge and meant the whole series came down to the Showstopper.

(An incredible coincidence.)

Terrible: You sensed the judges relished giving Steven their verdicts on his breads more than they’d enjoyed tasting them. ‘They do look pretty terrible,’ Hollywood began, almost smiling

Terrible: You sensed the judges relished giving Steven their verdicts on his breads more than they’d enjoyed tasting them. ‘They do look pretty terrible,’ began, almost smiling

Sophie’s second place in the Signature effectively represented a (moral) victory.

‘Bread! Bread! Bread! I hate bread!’ she had wailed about the Achilles’ heel from the early rounds.

Kate ran out of time icing her ginger (as it were) but on the plus side came up with the best line of the night in the process - funnier than anything by Noel Fielding -when she told him: ‘I literally can’t give you eye time right now unless you’re a biscuit.’

Making an ‘Entremet’ in the final challenge was, boasted, ‘the most unforgiving Showstopper in Bake Off history.’

Well certainly in Channel 4’s Bake Off history anyway.

Redeemed: To his credit, Steven revived his chances by winning the Technical Challenge. ‘A very good ginger biscuit,’ Prue concluded. (Aren’t they all?)

Redeemed: To his credit, Steven revived his chances by winning the Technical Challenge. ‘A very good ginger biscuit,’ Prue concluded. (Aren’t they all?)

‘An Entremet as we all know is a thing that Sandi knows about,’ Fielding joked.

Toksvig explained an Entremet was ‘a light multi-layered cake originally served

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