First contestant axed from Bake Off as show returns with dropped cakes and tears

The first amateur baker has been eliminated from The Great British Bake Off in an episode featuring dropped cakes and tears.

Loriea, 27, a diagnostic radiographer from Durham, was axed at the end of the first episode of the new series after failing to impress judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood.

Peter, 20, an accounting and finance student from Edinburgh, was named star baker after crafting three successful bakes.

Matt Lucas debuted as the new co-host alongside Noel Fielding – replacing Sandi Toksvig – in a skit mimicking Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s coronavirus briefings.

The Little Britain star, 46, appeared ahead of the show’s return to Channel 4 wearing a blonde wig and standing at a lectern featuring the slogan: “Stay Alert, Bake Cake, Save Loaves.”

Production of the 11th series was initially delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic, but filming finished near the end of August.

The 12 new amateur bakers, presenters and others working on the programme formed a “bubble” in Down Hall Hotel near Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, throughout the duration of filming, after being tested for the virus and self-isolating.

The Great British Bake Off 2020
The Great British Bake Off 2020

Hollywood reassured viewers the show would look the same as always, saying: “Once we all walk back into the tent it will get back to something very familiar.”

But Leith admitted: “I am quite anxious being locked up for weeks on end with you three guys. There’s not a grown-up among you”

The signature challenge saw the bakers asked to create Battenberg cake, covered in marzipan and, when cut in cross section, displaying a distinctive pattern.

Lucas bungled his first introduction, shouting “Bake!” at the wrong time.

The Great British Bake Off 2020
The Great British Bake Off 2020

Sura, 31, a pharmacy dispenser from London, admitted she was already tired of eating cake.

“I am so over cake. I have been tasting it and trying it out. I don’t want to eat cake ever again,” she told Lucas.

He replied: “You might be on the wrong show.”

Despite this, her oranges and lemons Battenberg impressed the judges, with Hollywood describing it as “very neat” and praising the texture.

Their first technical challenge was to craft six miniature upside-down pineapple cakes, with Hollywood describing the bake as “a classic”.

He added: “We are testing you on your timings and your consistency so read your recipes carefully.”

As the bakers delivered their creations to the judges, Sura swung her arm to hit a fly and knocked Dave, 30, causing four of his six cakes to fly across the room.

“It happens, accidents happen,” Dave, a security guard from Hampshire, told a tearful Sura.

The judges gave him ninth place, while Sura took first.

Crying, she said: “It’s bittersweet because I feel so sad for Dave. I wish it didn’t happen to be honest.”

We need the Bake Off Fly in custardy right away!

— British Bake Off (@BritishBakeOff) September 22, 2020

For the showstopper, contestants were challenged to create a cake bust depicting their personal celebrity hero, with choices including David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust and Louis Theroux.

Sura’s portrayal of Sir David Attenborough toppled at the last moment but she righted him before damage was done.

The new series began at 8.15pm, 15 minutes later than scheduled, to make space for a television coronavirus address from Mr Johnson, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, following the announcement of new restrictions.

During the address, a message on screen said: “Bake Off starts immediately after this programme at 8.15.”