The fourth series of The Great British Bake Off concluded recently, crowning its champion, 31 year old Frances Quinn.
She was somewhat of a surprise winner, having been regularly warned that her focus on style was at the expense of the quality of her overall baking; but her final bake, a raspberry, lemon and passion fruit wedding cake (in addition to her consistency in performance) was enough to convince Paul and Mary of her baking credentials. She beat off competition from psychologist Kimberley Wilson, whose self-confidence had been her distinguishing feature throughout the series, and student Ruby Tandoh, who demonstrated the exact opposite – consistently doubting her chances, even going so far as to put her entries down in front of the judges.
Much was made after the show of a Guardian article written by Ruby, where she took the opportunity to address the vitriol and criticism many of the female contestants had faced on social networking sites. She also took the opportunity to deny accusations that she had in any way faked her regular tears in the series, or that she was involved in a relationship with King of the Bread, Paul Hollywood.
The final episode of Bake Off received a peak audience of over 9 million, making it BBC Two’s highest rated programme in a decade. The high figures seem to back up the show’s previously announced transfer to BBC One, which will take place when series 5 commences next autumn; viewers will be hoping that the ingredients that have made GBBO such a success remain.