With the end of August came the long awaited, highly controversial 8th series of the Great British Bake Off. The return of the show also brought a series of changes due to the switch in TV channel from BBC to Channel 4. This led to the loss of Mary Berry, Mel and Sue. They were replaced with Prue Leith, Sadi Toksvig and most surprisingly Noel Fielding. Going into this series, Bake Off fans were clearly worried – would it be the same now? Would adverts affect the quality of the show? Could anyone replace Mary Berry, let along Mel and Sue? Where would Noel Fielding fit in?

Week 1– Honestly, I went in wanting to hate the new series. As a loyal fan of the BBC I felt betrayed by Love Productions taking GBBO to Channel 4. I was surprisingly impressed though, yes Noel and Sandi weren’t Mel and Sue, but they brought their own fun personalities to the show. I wasn’t as captured as I had been in the past series’ but nonetheless I would be back next week.

Week 2 – The traditional biscuit week had be shouting at the TV as the bakers struggles with sealing fortune cookies. It was honestly painful to watch them trying to figure it out how to complete the technical.

Week 3 – We’re on to bread week, it seems like the show is trying to win over viewers with traditionally themed weeks at the beginning of the series. If there was a week of innuendos it was this one from Paul’s finger technique for making the perfect cottage loaf to Julia ‘Snail Under a Mushroom’.

Week 4 – Week 4 brought us a new theme – Caramel. The stroopwaffle technical challenged the bakers this week, with all of them failing to create the perfect stroopwaffle. This week saw the return the history segment- the one thing from the BBC version of Bake Off that we didn’t miss.

Week 5 – Finally in week 5 Sophie was crowned Star Baker after coming close so many times. Pudding week also brought us a staggered technical challenge making it even harder than it already was. In the showstopper Steven made yet another amazing looking bake but according to the judges lacked substance.

Week 6– Pie week had us all loving Liam even more than we already did as he took inspiration from his nan for his signature. His nan’s delicious pies earned him high praise from Prue and the title of Star Baker. It was goodbye to Julia though and a narrow escape for Kate and Stacey.

Week 7 – Things are heating up in the tent, quite literally as it was one of the hottest days causing a series of issues for the bakers. Italian week saw the bakers make pizzas in the technical, which is apparently much harder to make than it looks. Steven finally got his Star Baker crown back, meanwhile Yan was controversially sent home with many viewers believing Kate should have been the one to go.

Week 8 – The talk of this episode was Liam being sent home. All seemed gutted to see him go, especially Sandi who choked up when announcing it was Liam who would leaving the show. Stacey had a bit of issue this week when the door came off her oven during the showstopper. She managed to overcome this though and go on to become Star Baker for the first time.

Week 9 – Down to the final 4, all of whom seemed to have had trouble this week. The judges decision to send Stacey home was a controversial one as it was Steven who’s showstopper that came bottom of the pile.  I’m still bitter that Liam left the week before.

Week 10 – Before the final could even begin Prue Leith tweeted her congratulations to the winner of the show, nearly 12 hours before it aired. Liam’s 5 seconds on screen in the final was one of the highlights for viewers. Many thought Steven would come back on top form this week, however the pressure seemed to get to him and his showstopper didn’t go down to well with the judges. Sophie came out on top to win the competition.

April Atkin

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