Sensing this occasion was all about the bakers, hosts Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas took more of a back seat than usual in the eerily empty tent. Emotion was ramped up with heartstring-tugging messages from the bakers’ proud families. Bubbled away in the tent, they hadn’t seen their loved ones for two months.
As ever, it all came down to the crucial showstopper: a magical display worthy of the Mad Hatter’s tea party. Crystelle’s colourful feast looked like it might prevail until the judges cut into her clock-shaped focaccia. Their faces fell. It was raw, unrisen dough. On such moments do finals turn. Agonisingly, Crystelle was out of the running, meaning we were about to get our fourth consecutive male winner.
Edgy Giuseppe goofed again by leaving his oven door open, losing heat. He fell behind, muttering furiously, but his panna cottas clinched it. The judges couldn’t stop scoffing them. When Leith nabbed one for her lunch, the deal was sealed. The Italian stallion succeeded the baby-faced assassin, reigning champion Peter Sawkins.
This was a low-key final, quietly intense but largely free of incident. High stakes meant the bakers all made timing errors. The standard slightly disappointed. Across the series as a whole, Giuseppe was a worthy winner. However, the people’s champion was surely Chigs, flying the flag for lockdown bakers everywhere. God bless that banana bread craze.