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Dublin: 18°C Friday 23 July 2021

GBBO fans are mourning the end of their favourite show as they know it

It’s coming back on Channel 4 – but without Mary Berry, Mel or Sue.

Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry
Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry
Image: Sean Dempsey

THE GREAT BRITISH Bake Off had all the ingredients to enthral people over the past seven series: pinches of sugary and spicy contestants, lashings of cake-based controversy and a comforting base of old-fashioned tweeness.

That a show about baking ended up being beloved by a nation – and then some – was proof that when it comes to good telly, it’s often the simplest recipes that have the most impact.

But now that the show in its current incarnation has come to an end, GBBO fans have been left feeling a bit bereft.

It was announced in September that the bake-off had been bought by Channel 4 for a reputed £75m. But soon, the people who made GBBO made it clear they weren’t going to be taking a bite out of the C4 pie.

Veteran baker and judge Mary Berry said she wouldn’t be leaving the BBC, while presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins said they were similarly not up for a move.

The only person who agreed to take part in GBBO V2.0 was judge Paul Hollywood, who signed a three-year deal with Channel 4.

This all meant that last night’s episode, in which Candice Brown was crowned the GBBO champion, was a bittersweet moment for fans, who bid farewell to the show as they know and love it.

Fans – including some very high profile names – tweeted about their upset last night:

For Irish fans of both GBBO and radio station TXFM, it was a double-whammy of a day.

The next big question for GBBO is what Channel 4 – known for its more youthful approach than the BBC – will do with the baking show.

Will it revamp the series entirely, taking away the tweeness? Or will it simply replace the missing judge and presenters and not try to tweak much else? The latter would certainly be a departure for Channel 4, though it has already seen success with stripped-down reality shows like Gogglebox.

That GBBO is to undergo a massive change will be a big test for Channel 4, but also for the fans. For the station, the test will be whether they manage to build on the support GBBO had, and not lose too many long-time viewers.

For those who tuned in every week, it’s whether their favourite show ends up being a croque en bouche… or more of a Baked Alaska headed for the bin.

Read: Farewell To Soggy Bottoms: Mary Berry is refusing to follow the Bake-Off to Channel 4>

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