Great British Bake Off: Tom first to exit as Channel 4 favourite returns to screens

·3 min read
 (Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions)
(Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions)

Software developer Tom was the first contestant to be knocked out in the first episode of the new series of The Great British Bake Off.

A fresh batch of 12 amateur bakers battled it out in the famous Bake Off on Tuesday night.

Kent-based Tom, 28, was the first to fall flat and be eliminated by judges. His signature mini-roll bake didn’t impress, although he did come fifth in the technical challenge with his malt loaf before baking a disastrous showstopper.

Tom said he felt disappointed to leave, saying: “It didn’t go to plan at all. I have always been hard on myself, more than I really should be. But I am definitely proud of myself, and I never say that, so that must mean quite a bit.

“My showstopper was a bit of a disaster. I wanted something that would celebrate my love of classical music, so I made a three-tiered lemon and almond sponge cake of a concert hall. The judges said that for an anti-gravity cake it didn’t really defy the laws of gravity.

“I know it’s hard to go out first and it was short and sweet, but it truly was an experience that I won’t forget.”

Meanwhile Amanda, 56, who works for the Met Police, narrowly avoided being eliminated.

Her showstopper “surf explosion” cake – which collapsed moments after it was cut by judge Paul Hollywood - didn’t fulfill the criteria and was “slightly overbaked.”

Originally from the Black Forest in Germany, 56-year-old Jurgen, an IT professional, won star baker.

Judges Paul Hollywood and Dame Prue Leith, and presenters Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding all returned for another series of signature, technical and showstopper bakes.

Lucas made his debut on the show last year and celebrated its imminent return on Instagram by sharing a picture of the judges and hosts imitating the Beatles on the zebra crossing outside Abbey Road Studios in west London.

Among the other stars are quadrilingual Crystelle, 26, is a client relationship manager from London and began baking seriously three years ago.

Vegan psychology student Freya, 19, from North Yorkshire, is the youngest baker in the tent this year.

She was forced to delete a Facebook page after she was criticised for rising horses while following a vegan diet.

Dorset-based Maggie, 70, is a retired nurse and midwife and believes the excitement of delivering a baby offers good preparation for taking part in Bake Off.

The 11th series, which aired in late 2020, saw cast and crew move into Down Hall Hotel near Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, throughout the duration of filming, after being tested for the virus and self-isolating.

Peter Sawkins, an accounting and finance student from Edinburgh, was crowned the show’s youngest ever winner at 20.

He was also the first winner from Scotland in the show’s decade-long history.

The programme also saw its biggest-ever final on Channel 4, attracting a record average audience of 9.2 million viewers and a 39.7 per cent share of the audience.

The Great British Bake Off continues next Tuesday at 8pm on Channel 4.

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