Great British Bake-Off flat?

Channel 4's baking show has a new champion


#GBBO - the final, review: Raises the emotional stakes before the winner is announced

In the words of the singer Shania Twain, it looks like we've made it! After nine eliminations, it's time for a winner to be crowned as this 10th series of The Great British Bake Off draws to a close. As is customary on the show, three bakers are left vying for the final prize: Alice, the 28-year-old geography teacher, Steph, the 28-year-old shop assistant who has won the Star Baker title an impressive four times, and David, a 36-year-old health adviser - and a skilled baker who has somehow consistently missed out on the Star Baker honour.

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Great British Bake-Off: has the Channel 4 baking show fallen flat?

By Daniel J. McLaughlin

After 10 weeks of baking, the Great British Bake-Off has a new champion: David Atherton.

He defeated finalists Alice Fevronia and Steph Blackwell on Tuesday's Bake-Off.

The Channel 4 show, which moved from the BBC in 2017, is now in its tenth series - but is it beginning to lose its flavour?

One critic argues that the latest series was "as limp as a soggy bottom", while another reviewer says that it still stands out from other TV contests.

The Claim

The Radio Times' Kimberley Bond likens the baking show to a "bad soufflé", arguing that Bake Off has "failed to rise to the occasion for series 10".

She says that the latest series has been "as limp as a soggy bottom", arguing that tweaking of the show's format has lead to Bake-Off losing its charm this year.

Whether it was "the increasingly bizarre selection of themes", the "damned-near impossible" showstoppers, or the judge's meaner comments, Bond argues that Bake Off has transformed "from a fun jaunt in a tent to more of an emotional ordeal".

She concludes: "Recent attempts to spice up Bake Off's usually sweet offerings have resulted in the show becoming unnecessarily sour.

"Too many cooks interfering when it's really not needed could see this once great show sink."

The Counterclaim

However, the Independent's Clémence Michallon gave the Bake-Off final a four-star review, saying that it raised the emotional stakes.

She says that the final explored Bake Off's biggest strength: "its ability to be unabashedly genuine and to delve into its participants’ emotional vulnerability with kindness".

This is, she adds, something that enables it to stand out from other TV contests.

Michallon adds: "There's no doubt in my mind that the verdict will elicit a lot of reactions on social media, but the fact that David was never crowned Star Baker throughout his time on the show, establishing himself as this year's underdog before rising as the programme's champion, has a daring, rather pleasant edge to it."

The Facts

According to overnight figures, the Great British Bake-Off final was watched by 6.9 million viewers. This is down from 7.5 million who tuned in for last year's finale, but does not include catch-up services.

It peaked at 7.7 million viewers on Tuesday night - and it was both the most watched episode of Series 10, and the most watched show on any channel from 8pm to 9.15pm.

It is the third series since Bake-Off moved from BBC One to Channel 4. The 2016 final on BBC peaked at almost 16 million viewers. The baking show is Channel 4's most successful show, followed by Gogglebox.

Bake-Off will stay on Channel 4 until 2021 after signing a new deal with the broadcaster in March. A new spin-off - Junior Bake Off - will also be launched.

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Radio Times

After 10 years, has The Great British Bake Off finally fallen flat?

Bake Off was once the show that glued us to the sofa (with a pack of biscuits and a cup of tea, naturally) as we became invested in the many baking dramas from custard-gate to Baked Alaska-gate.

The past 10 years has seen the saccharine competition cement itself as essential weeknight viewing, having nailed that elusive recipe for a sure-fire TV hit: take a dozen wannabe bakers, mix in good-and-bad cop judges, sprinkle in some challenging themes, add a dash of pure filth from the hosts and leave to bake for 10 weeks.

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