There might’ve been laughter and tears but The Great Festive Bake Off ended on a high when East 17’s Tony Mortimer pitched up in the tent to make a cameo appearance.
The four returning bakers and Prue Leith, Paul Hollywood, Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding gathered around the piano to see Tony – complete with trademark white parka – belt out a rendition of his 1994 classic number one Stay Another Day.
Sadly he didn’t modify the lyrics to ‘If you take the dough away / don’t think I can bake the same / won’t you weigh another tray’, but we’ll let that pass.
It was a fitting end to the special episode which saw 2016 contestant Rav Bansal crowned the winner after impressing the judges with his trademark stunning flavour combinations and a truly showstopping magical ice cake.
But it wasn’t a clear cut win. It looked like Sandy Docherty had victory all sewn up when her signature snowy bomb Alaska tart (no, we’d never heard of it either) prompted Prue to say that her bake was “absolutely faultless”, with Paul describing it as “perfect” before dusting off his trademark Hollywood Handshake.
Such was the praise that Sandy was reduced to tears of joy. However, a showstopper that nearly verged on disaster scuppered her chances and eventually Rav had to see off stiff competition from Benjamina Ebuehi, whose modern, elegant and classy showstopper really wowed the judges.
Both Prue and Paul loved the colour of her cake, describing it as “very artistic” – while the “depth of flavour” in her chocolate cake was praised as being “great” by Paul. Which, as we all know, is very high praise indeed.
It was an episode more stuffed than an over-filled yule log, bursting with jeopardy (Rob Billington looked like he was going to suffer a repeat of his ‘cake meets the carpet’ disaster when his two-tiers had a massive wobble) comedy (courtesy of Noel who was again on fine irreverent form) and heaps of nostalgia.
But what with it being New Year’s Day, it’s the time to look forwards rather than backwards. Yes, applications for Bake Off 2018 are still open – but only for one more week. So if you fancy following in the illustrious steps of Rav, Benjamina, Rob and Sandy, this could be your chance…
The Great British Bake Off returns to Channel 4 later this year.