After 10 amazing weeks in the Great British Bake Off tent, Syabira was crowned as the 2022 winner, beating Sandro and Abdul in last night's epic finale.


The episode saw the remaining contestants in the Great British Bake Off 2022 line-up going head-to-head as they tackled one last Signature of a picnic display, a pudding bombe Technical and a final Showstopper showing three different baking skills.

It was no easy feat, as the bakers tackled veggie gelatine, which was the first time for many of them.

But it was Syabira who really wowed the judges, with Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood handing her the coveted glass cake stand at the end of the show.

Here, former Bake Off champion and columnist Giuseppe Dell'Anno shares his thoughts on the 2022 final while revealing the one change he'd like to see on the Channel 4 show going forward.

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Giuseppe on The Great British Bake Off 2022 final

Syabira, Abdul and Sandro, the GBBO 2022 finalists.
Syabira, Abdul and Sandro, the GBBO 2022 finalists. Channel 4

The last episode of the season felt like an odd final for an odd series. The Signature, with a full picnic basket of treats, was very ambitious, and probably closer to the level of complexity of a Showstopper.

The Technical had a bit of trap with the vegetable gelatine, that, if you had never used before, like Sandro hadn’t, you wouldn’t have known how to use. I would have failed the Technical completely as I had no idea up to last night that you had to boil veggie gelatine to make it work - that little detail felt a bit like a sneaky trap for the bakers, so not exactly pleasant to watch.

And the Showstopper challenge simply did not give enough time to the bakers to produce one of the masterpieces that they have produced in the past, so the result was slightly underwhelming, especially knowing what those three are really capable of.

Congratulations, Syabira

I feel very smug today as Syabira was one of the two names that I picked off the initial dozen straight in Week One, the second being Janusz. And you guys on Radio Times have a good record of that to back up my claims!

So I was very happy to see her getting the coveted accolade, not only because it proved that my initial prediction was at least 50 per cent right, but also because looking back at the whole season, Syabira did go into the final with the best records.

Also, her performance across the three challenges was marginally better than Abdul’s and Sandro’s. And last but not least, she is just adorable and I’m supper happy that she is now the reigning Bake Off champion. It could not have gone to a sweeter person. And finally a woman!

I have actually had the chance to speak to Syabira directly over the past few weeks and even though I didn’t know that she was the winner, I told her just to take it in in small doses – just one day at a time.

I am myself still relatively new to this and still very much learning, so I am in no position to impart any wisdom, but the only advice I feel would be appropriate at this stage would be to savour every second of the whirlwind of events that are coming her way, to enjoy every opportunity to do something new, as this might well be the only opportunity in an entire lifetime to do it.

She should try to learn as much as possible by simply asking plenty of questions to those that have been in this business for longer as, at least in my experience, there’s plenty of people in the baking and entertainment industry that are just very happy and willing to help a novice.

Favourite moment

They all did rather well in their Signature challenge, despite it being so ambitious. The judges kept criticising Sandro’s for the size of his portions, but in all honesty, they didn’t look at all massive to me. That’s probably because I am not a posh nibbler, but rather a savage gulper, and I would have very happily helped myself to one of his sandwiches and pies without taking any offence on their size!

Sandro’s Signature was also very ornately presented without being too ostentatious. And, he thought of a glass of Prosecco to go with it, so in my view it was very much at the level you would have expected from a Bake Off final, and I enjoyed it greatly!

Least favourite moment

I have said this already, but the Showstopper in general left me with a bittersweet aftertaste. You could see that our lovely bakers gave it their best shot, but none of them managed to squeeze, within the time given, a truly final-worthy Showstopper. Let’s not forget that these are the people who gave us a spherical cake on Custard Week, a massive rocket-shaped Krokan and an entire DNA helix made out of biscuit! They certainly have the skills to deliver, so I can only think that perhaps the timing was not adequate.

Although, for fairness, I should say that hindsight is a beautiful thing, and it's very easy for us to critique a posteriori whether the timing was sufficient or not. The reality is that whoever sets the challenges has no idea how the bakers will react, so they can only go ahead with their best guess and hope for the best. So, I think that we should spare some sympathy for those that for 13 years have done their best to come up with ideas to entertain a very demanding audience.

Giuseppe answers...

Is there anything you’d like to see happen differently in season 14 or going forward on Bake Off?

One of the things that I enjoyed the most in the early seasons of Bake Off was Mary Berry and Paul’s masterclasses. I learnt a lot about baking just by watching the show, and I feel that that element of “teaching” has been somehow lost over the years in favour of the drama. I have always felt that the bakes should be the real protagonists of the show, not the judges, nor the bakers. And I would personally really like it if the spotlight was moved back onto the sweet (or savoury sometimes) treat, letting everybody else just being the conduit to a beautiful and inspirational bake.

Would you encourage aspiring bakers to sign up for the show?

Taking part in the show was the best thing that ever happened to me and I could not recommend it more! You might think that this is precious coming from the winner, but I genuinely believe that I would have been equally happy, proud and gratified even if I had left the tent in Week One. If you love baking and are a fan of the show, you must put your name in the ballot and give yourself a chance.

A week in the life of Giuseppe

Following the final, I've had lots of interviews lined up and radio sessions. I'm coming to London this week for an event at the Italian Embassy. It's a dinner, so hopefully it will be good food. And then I'll be in Manchester because there is another event with Rahul and Peter that is book-related. So, we'll be at Waterstones in Manchester for a conversation.

Final words

I wasn’t sure whether I would have enjoyed watching the show much, after having been a part of it, but it turns out that I loved it even more. The experience of having been in the tent shines a whole new light on what is broadcast, and I can appreciate many more subtleties now than I was ever able to grasp as a “conventional” viewer.

I have now formally handed over the baton to Syabira. I hope that she enjoys it as much as I did. I have no idea what the future holds for me, but I have no doubt that baking and cooking will be a dominant part of it. So for now, from me it's arrivederci and I’ll see you soon (I hope!).

Giuseppe's Italian Bakes cover

To make your own show-stopping bakes at home, Giuseppe’s debut cookbook, Giuseppe’s Italian Bakes (Quadrille, £20) is available to buy now.

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