Paul Hollywood was “horrified” by Prue Leith’s Bake Off gaffe

The new judge accidentally announced the winner on Twitter hours before Tuesday's final

Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith

Bake Off stalwart Paul Hollywood has spoken out about Prue Leith’s Twitter gaffe, admitting he was “horrified” to learn that his co-star had revealed the winner of this year’s competition hours before the show was due to air.

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“What can you say? I was horrified,” he told presenter Jo Brand on Channel 4’s spin-off show Extra Slice. “She’s made a mistake.”

Brand joked that Leith was unable to make the post-final edition of the show because she was busy “deleting her Twitter account”, though in actuality Mary Berry’s replacement is in Bhutan: it was a mix-up with time differences that led to her revealing on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon that Sophie Faldo had won the competition.

“She was in the Himalayas apparently,” said Hollywood.

The tweet was deleted very quickly, but not before it had been screen-grabbed and circulated thousands of times, spoiling the sense of anticipation for many Bake Off fans in the process.

Leith then shared a heartfelt apology:

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The error, however, did not stop 7.7 million viewers from tuning in on Tuesday evening to see Sophie vanquish fellow contestants Kate Lyon and Steven Carter-Bailey, earning Channel 4 its highest overnight ratings since the Paralympics opening ceremony in 2012.