The 8 things you missed in the last - and best - ever Bake Off on the BBC


It may be the end of The Great British Bake Off as we know it, but as Paul, Mary, Mel and Sue entered the tent for the last time before the series moves channels, they did not disappoint.

The Boxing Day special episode, which saw renowned "flavour queen" Chetna Makan officially take her crown at last, was packed with everything from cheating scandals to innuendos about vegetables. And, of course, the mention of a "soggy bottom".

In case you somehow had something more important to do on a Boxing Day evening, here are all the best bits.

1. Paul and Mary's super cute jumpers.

Paul and Mary model the height of festive fashion.
Paul and Mary model the height of festive fashion (BBC/Love Productions/Mark Bourdillon/PA)

They may be going their separate ways when Mary leaves and Paul continues with the show for its next series, but they looked every bit the perfect tent duo in their blue woollies.

Mary dazzled with her star-scattered number, while Paul's chest told a festive tale of children playing in the snow.


2. Chetna's canapes are too spicy for... Chetna.

Chetna gets the sweats over her spicy pastries.
Chetna gets the sweats over her spicy pastries (BBC/Love Productions/Tom Graham/PA)

She's known for loading up the flavours when it comes to her cooking, and has even penned a cookbook about it, but even she felt she went a little overboard with her signature canapes.

She made herself splutter with her colourful pastries and worried over whether she might actually injure Mary.

Mary politely described them as "very hot," but we saw Paul holding back a tear.

3. Everyone got excited over James's saucy veg.

James is pretty proud of his special veg.
James is pretty proud of his special veg (BBC/Love Productions/Mark Bourdillon

Home-grown root vegetables seemed like an odd addition to canapes of mackerel mille-feuilles and red onion and goat's cheese swirls, but they certainly grabbed attention.

Mary couldn't seem to let go of James's sizeable parsnip, while Sue couldn't resist the opportunity to make a joke about how many inches it had.

4. James 'cheats' in the technical... and wins.

Was this all your own work, James?
Was this all your own work, James? (BBC/Love Productions/Tom Graham/PA)

Forget stolen custard and melting ice cream - could this actually be the biggest controversy to hit the Bake Off tent?

The bakers all hit a spot of bother as they were tasked with recreating Hollywood's recipe for a spiced Scandinavian "cinnamon length", but when James spotted that Chetna had found an ingenious way to shape hers, he made the quick decision to copy.

"Ah, that's so annoying. I think Chetna has got it right. I can fix this," he said.

But Chetna caught him in the act and, describing the scandal as a Bake Off first, she called him up on cheating and joked that she would "take it outside".

After a tense round, James was actually pronounced winner of the challenge, while poor "Cheatna" came third.

He graciously thanked the other contestants for showing him the way to a better bake, but still... awkward.

5. The bakers take on the most ambitious show-stopper yet.

Janet gets stuck in to her show-stopper.
Janet gets stuck in to her show-stopper (BBC/Love Productions/Tom Graham/PA)

We heard it straight from the Mel's mouth: the challenge to produce a centrepiece built from a trio of 36 miniature desserts was "the most ambitious in Bake Off history".

James got his comeuppance this time when Mary said his ensemble of apple and custard doughnuts, orange chocolate macarons and boozy Christmas cakes arranged on a precarious gingerbread frame looked more "Halloweeny than Christmas".

Paul brutally commented later: "It was surprising, but in a bad way."

6. Howard made another attempt at his famous custard, and it failed.

Custard has never been so contentious.
Custard has never been so contentious (BBC/Love Productions/Tom Graham/PA)

His famous exit in week six of the 2013 series sparked social media outrage after fellow contestant Deborah "robbed" him of success by accidentally stealing his prized custard.

But his "camp as Christmas" trio saw him try to rewrite history by giving it another shot. Sadly, however, even Mary described the finished result as "really a bit disappointing".

"I never thought I would be back in the tent making more custard," he said. "I'll have to make sure no-one steals it. No, she didn't steal it... it was an accident."

7. Mel flashes her "bingo wings".

There's nothing Mel won't do for a baker in need.
There's nothing Mel won't do for a baker in need (BBC/Love Productions/Tom Graham/PA)

Yep, it's exactly as it sounds. As Howard began to buckle under the time pressure, this was Mel's generous attempt to soothe him.

Sadly, the cameras didn't offer a great view, but Howard seemed to appreciate the gesture.

8. Chetna's show-stopper "smashed it out the park".

"Smashing it out the park" (BBC/Love Productions/Tom Graham/PA)

It was a massive compliment coming from Paul, but it was more than deserved by Chetna's incredible presentation of fully-formed festive family favourites (dare you to say that out loud) in miniature.

Her intricate offering of baked Alaskas, Yule logs and cheesecakes were pretty much perfect and, of course, carried a hint of her signature spices.

So well done, Chetna, and well done everyone. It has truly been emotional.