In times gone by, this story of a shy contestant triumphing over the odds would be cause for celebration.
Just look at Nadiya in 2015. Her promise after winning to “never put boundaries on myself ever again” became a rallying cry for anyone who’s ever questioned their abilities, who’s ever felt inadequate, unsure of themselves or not up to the task.
I’m not naïve. I know this is the inevitability of a lot of people watching a show at the same time and talking about it on Twitter; I know too that the negative voices will always be amplified over all the friendly messages of support.
But still, wasn’t Bake Off meant to be the exception? This was meant to be the ‘nice’ show, the antidote to every mean, vitriolic, controversy-courting reality TV series.
I expected better from a fanbase I thought to be mostly kind and positive. To have this much hate for Rahul's win is disgusting, much like many comments about it. Everyone has their favourites, but to turn utterly inconsiderate when they don't win is saddening. #GBBOFinal
Rahul isn’t the only one to have faced fan backlash. In contrast to the eventual winner, throughout this year Ruby has been the quietly confident one: self-assured, brushing off mistakes, getting up and trying again. In time-honoured Bake Off tradition, she laughed off any stress by reminding herself that it was just a show about cakes.
Presumably the viewers who continue to insist that she’s only there because Paul ‘fancies’ her have forgotten that simple fact.
Mixed feelings about #gbbofinal – wanting Rahul to win, but also wanting him to saved from cruelty of success & also rooting for the cool Punjabi (Ruby) & equally realising it's just a baking show and I need to get out of the house more and maybe GET A LIFE.