“The cutaways are showing more of Noel Fielding – but I don’t always get his humour” Bake Off winner Sophie Faldo on Patisserie Week

In her weekly column, Bake Off 2017 winner Sophie Faldo gives her say on one of the most tightly run semi-finals yet

Sophie Bake Off 2017 (her own image)

We’re less than a week away now from the Bake Off finals, with Steph, David and Alice preparing to battle it out to be crowned 2019’s Star Baker.

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But it wasn’t smooth sailing in the semi’s, with several of our finalists struggling through the hugely fiddly Patisserie Week.

RadioTimes.com Bake Off columnist and former champion Sophie Faldo talks us through this week’s events, serving up her thoughts on comeback queen Rosie, the sweet tribute to Henry and her thoughts on who will win Bake Off 2019…

“Paul Hollywood was wrong – it wasn’t too cruel to have the Patisserie Theme for the semi-finals”

Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith on The Great British Bake Off
Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith on The Great British Bake Off (Channel 4)

It’d be cruel to have it in week two or three when people are finding their feet! It’s become a tradition to have it on the semi-final week, so I think if you’re going to do it, this is the best time to do it. It shows a level of technical ability and you need to be really skilful.

“Sandi’s got more involved with the bakers”

Sandi Toksvig, Bake Off (C4)
Sandi Toksvig, Bake Off (C4)

It was a real nice display of solidarity for all the bakers to wear ties to remember Henry. I think that was quite unusual for even Sandi Toksvig to wear a tie too. It shows the impact Henry had on the tent and on Sandi.

I think she’s got more and more involved over time, she found it quite hard to separate herself and she gets very, very upset, particularly towards the end when she’s bonded with people, when someone has to leave.

“It’s a real shame Rosie left this week”

Bake Off Rosie (Channel 4)

I have so much to say about this girl! I was in absolute awe of her. That is the single most bravest display I’ve ever seen in the tent. For everything to go wrong, having to do everything at least twice and still come first was absolutely incredible – especially with the stress of the semi finals.

When Paul was talking about Rosie’s showstopper not having any flavour, I knew she’d be gone. It is the right decision as she had a bit of a mare with the signature and same again in the showstopper. It was the right decision, but it was a real shame.

“I wanted Steph to win star baker again!”

Bake Off Steph (Channel 4)

Alice’s showstopper was very ambitious and she deserved to win, but it would have been amazing for Steph to have won. It does stand her in good stead for the final. The judges have told me since I won about how they judge the final – every week is judged independently. However, if it comes to a tie-breaker, and they really can’t decide, in the past, they have taken other weeks into account – which could hinder David as he’s never won Star Baker.

“The bakers will be exhausted now”

I was obviously really thrilled to be in the final, but I was so exhausted by that point. And I remember me and Stephen and Katie from my year all just slumped over our stations waiting for the technical. We were like: “I don’t care anymore! I just want it to be over! I don’t care who wins! I just can’t wait for it to be tomorrow when it’s all finished!”

“Bake Off’s humour is zanier than ever – and I think that’s Noel’s influence”

Noel Fielding Bake Off

Alice’s chocolate starfish gag made me really giggle. I think she was totally oblivious to it, which is the sweetest thing. And it’s no accident that made it into the final cut.

The humour is far quirkier in Bake Off – it’s become quite Mighty Boosh. I think it would have been a shame if Bake Off hadn’t become more zany, because they would have been sticking too much to the original concept and not taking into account the fact that they’ve got these new hosts. It would be wrong not to absorb some of Noel’s humour into the show.

I don’t quite get his humour, and I’ve told him this – so hopefully it won’t be insulting! I’ve watched his comedy, and I’ve just gone….hmm. It’s very zany and very out there, I think I’ve got to get a bit drunk for me to get it a bit more. Not that I ever have or would condone the taking of drugs but I think if you were stoned, it would be f*****g hilarious.

“I’m backing Steph to win”

To do so well, to make history and to be the first person to get four star bakers, it would be a real shame if Steph didn’t win the whole competition – but I love them all.

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The Great British Bake Off concludes Tuesday at 8pm on Channel 4