New Great British Bake Off bids farewell to first contestant

The first baking hopeful has been booted from the famous white tent as the Great British Bake Off made its debut on Channel 4.

Picture: Mark Bourdillon/Channel 4 Television/PA Wire
Picture: Mark Bourdillon/Channel 4 Television/PA Wire

IT programme manager Peter failed to rise to the occasion as he got the chop in the first episode of the show not to air on the BBC.

The hit programme returned to television in its new home with different presenters and a new judge but the familiar tropes of oven-watching, cake binning and sprinting round the tent in a race against the clock.

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The first episode to air since the programme parted ways with the BBC featured new presenting team Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding, as well as new judge Prue Leith, who joined series regular Paul Hollywood, and the arrival of ad breaks.

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Leith took over the baton from previous judge Mary Berry, while Toksvig and Fielding stepped into the shoes of Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins.

The show, which is still made by Love Productions, featured the same theme music and opening sequence, as well as the same bunting-decorated tent and three-challenge format.

Essex resident Peter, 52, was the first to get the boot from the competition after his coconut cake contained too much baking powder, his chocolate mini rolls failed to impress and his cake in the shape of a bread and bread board proved to be too dry and too simple for the judges.

He said: “I’m disappointed to be the first off, but it has been a lovely experience throughout. It was quite surreal from day one, and I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.

“No matter how far you go in the series, it’s still great to be part of the show. And it doesn’t end for me on week one, as all of the bakers are my friends now, and they are amazing in their own way.

“They are a wonderful bunch of guys and we keep in touch regularly. I will be watching them throughout of course.”

He added: “My daughter Temi always wanted me to apply in previous years, and this year she let me know when the applications were open and really encouraged me to apply.

“Although I am the first baker to leave the tent it doesn’t mean it’s a bad experience. To be shortlisted from such a large list of applications and to be one of the 12 bakers to enter the tent was a huge personal achievement.”

The new presenters were introduced to the series by looking for the tent in a giant hot air balloon, with Toksvig on the phone: “Sorry Sue, did you say a white tent?”

Hollywood heralded the arrival of the new judge by saying: “This year is going to be very special.

“The bakers may think they know what I want but when it comes to Prue they have absolutely no idea.”

Meanwhile Leith promised to be “firm by fair.”

During the episode the amateur bakers were tasked with a signature challenge of a family-sized cake using fresh fruit before a technical challenge of 12 chocolate covered mini rolls.

The showstopper challenge to create an illusion cake was described by Hollywood as “the most complex showstopper challenge ever set in the first week of Bake Off.”

Contestant Steven’s bonfire night cake with toffee apples, his proficient mini rolls and illusion cake in the shape of a BLT sandwich and loaf of bread, described by Leith as “absolutely astonishing”, landed him the title of star baker.