‘IT’S THE HARD­EST FI­NAL EVER!’

PAUL HOL­LY­WOOD and PRUE LEITH choose this year’s Bake off cham­pion

TV & Satellite Week - - This Week On Tv -

The Great Bri­tish Bake Off: The Fi­nal Tues­day, Chan­nel 4 HD, 8pm

PAUL HOL­LY­WOOD HAS sat in judg­ment over seven fi­nals of The Great Bri­tish Bake Off. So when the 51-year-old baker tells us that this year’s con­test is the most closely fought yet, we don’t doubt him.

‘It’s the hard­est fi­nal I’ve ever been in­volved in,’ says Hol­ly­wood. ‘It was so chilled un­til the last cou­ple of hours when the bak­ers saw their fam­i­lies walk­ing into the field. Then it be­came very real.’

As Tv & satel­lite Week went to press, four bak­ers were still in the run­ning for the 2017 tro­phy – Stacey, So­phie, Steven and Kate – with three of them set to progress to this week’s fi­nal, where they will be tasked with bak­ing a batch of loaves and mas­ter a tricksy twist on a sim­ple bis­cuit bake be­fore whip­ping up a multi-lay­ered patis­serie show­stop­per.

We asked the fi­nal four con­tes­tants to share their high­lights from the tent…

STACEY HART

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO REACH THIS FAR? Amaz­ing! I was sure I was go­ing to leave in week one, so ev­ery week af­ter is a huge bonus.

FAVOURITE MO­MENT IN THE TENT?

My fave mo­ments were al­ways af­ter a chal­lenge. It was great to be able to chat to the bak­ers and have a laugh, ly­ing on the grass to­gether in the sun­shine.

BEST BAK­ING WEEK? Pudding week. I got to make an Eight­ies-in­spired Wham! ter­rine – what’s not to love about that?

POST Bake Off, WHAT WOULD YOU LOVE TO HAP­PEN NEXT FOR YOU?

I’d like to do some­thing in the bak­ing arena or write for a mag­a­zine shar­ing my thoughts and recipes.

STEVEN CARTER-BAI­LEY

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO REACH THIS FAR? It still doesn’t feel real. I never ex­pected to get on the show, let alone get near the end.

FAVOURITE MO­MENT IN THE TENT?

Be­ing awarded star baker and get­ting a Paul hand­shake are my best mo­ments, but my fond­est mem­o­ries are sit­ting in the sun, chat­ting with the other bak­ers.

BEST BAK­ING WEEK? Week one with all 12 of us to­gether. The at­mos­phere was elec­tric.

POST Bake Off, WHAT WOULD YOU LOVE TO HAP­PEN NEXT FOR YOU?

I haven’t planned for any­thing. But I have found some­thing that makes me want to get up ev­ery morn­ing.

KATE LYON

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO REACH THIS FAR? I sur­passed my own ex­pec­ta­tions be­cause I haven’t been bak­ing long. As long as I have tried my best, I am happy.

FAVOURITE MO­MENT IN THE TENT? Hear­ing Prue say my cake was the best she had ever tasted. What a com­pli­ment. I need to print that out and frame it.

BEST BAK­ING WEEK? I en­joyed caramel week and patis­serie week be­cause I hadn’t done much of those things be­fore.

POST Bake Off, WHAT WOULD YOU LOVE TO HAP­PEN NEXT FOR YOU? I’ve re­alised I’ve got a big pas­sion for food in gen­eral so I would love to get more in­volved with that.

SO­PHIE FALDO

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO REACH THIS FAR? It’s all a bit sur­real; it seems like it was last week that I was back in France ap­ply­ing for Bake Off. It’s been quite a jour­ney.

FAVOURITE MO­MENT IN THE TENT? Prob­a­bly re­ceiv­ing the first ‘Hol­ly­wood hand­shake’.

BEST BAK­ING WEEK? I’d say bread week was a per­sonal tri­umph for me. It was the thing I was least ex­pe­ri­enced in, so get­ting through it un­scathed was a weight off my shoul­ders.

POST Bake Off, WHAT WOULD YOU LOVE TO HAP­PEN NEXT FOR YOU? Bak­ing is a real pas­sion of mine and if I could turn it into a ca­reer it would be fan­tas­tic.

IT’LL BE A TOUGH CHOICE FOR JUDGES PAUL HOL­LY­WOOD

AND PRUE LEITH

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