The Great British Bake Off 2021: episode one – as it happened

Last modified: 08: 32 PM GMT+0

We’re back in the tent for more cake-based mayhem! But who rose to the occasion – and who bottomed out?

Ahh, it’s so lovely to be back. We’ll see you next week! Take care x

More items we can buy from the shops for 99p! The bingo rolls over to another week.

Huge congratulations to Happy Little Jürgen! Hopefully things remain that way for him. Next time - brandy snaps, jammie dodgers and… *throws dart* interactive *throws second dart* biscuit toys!

Sad for Tom. He leaves us with this quote: “I have always been hard on myself but today I am happy for myself - so that’s something.” <3

We say it every year but it’s so hard going home first. All that time spent creating recipes for each week in the tent, only for none of the incredible bakes to ever see the light of day. We salute you, Tom. You did a smashing job and I’m sad to see you go (I also had so many more train puns so that’s a shame as well).

OF COURSE JÜRGEN IS STAR BAKER. He has a rabbit named Humphrey. That deserves Star Baker alone.


The results are in...

Jürgen is Star Baker and Tom is going home!

Jürgen to get Star Baker, or Crystelle! What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Jürgen’s bake is very IKEA, isn’t it. Simple, clean lines.

Jürgen’s ‘Night Time Reading’ Anti-Gravity Showstopper Cake. #GBBO

— British Bake Off (@BritishBakeOff) September 21, 2021

Apparently, he’s a happy little Jürgen, which is now my favourite phrase.

Our next cake isn’t what you would call Sloppy Giuseppe. At all.

Giuseppe’s ‘Jack and The Beanstalk’ Anti-Gravity Showstopper Cake. #GBBO

— British Bake Off (@BritishBakeOff) September 21, 2021

Tom has made … a cake. It seems to be rather in thrall to gravity, rather than defying it. Hope he isn’t… de-railed by this.

How on earth did Rochica’s cake stand up the way it has? Truly astonishing.

Oh my word. Crystelle has smashed this hasn’t she? I think hers is one of the most impressive cakes – and it looks exactly like a bouquet of flowers. Shall we crown her now?

Crystelle’s ‘Bouq-cake’ of Flowers Anti-Gravity Showstopper Cake. #GBBO

— British Bake Off (@BritishBakeOff) September 21, 2021

Freya named her cake after a potty to remind everyone how young she is.

Amanda: “It stayed up!!!!”

Ron Howard voice: “It didn’t.”

Would you look at that. I certainly don’t hate to say I told you so.

FACT: The gravitational pull in the Bake Off Tent is the strongest on the planet. #GBBO

— British Bake Off (@BritishBakeOff) September 21, 2021

Paul and Prue appear to have cut a diagonal slice from the base of Amanda’s cake base. If it wasn’t structurally sound before, it certainly isn’t now - they’ve essentially taken it out at the knees?!

Dame Maggie has made a mushroom rather than an ice-cream. Delicious but flavourless, apparently. Jairzeno has done his best to salvage his bake, but I’m not sure it will be enough. Poor thing, the Baking Gods just weren’t on his side.

“I liked the bowl. It has got an anti-movement thing to it,” says Paul, three seconds after the top part of Chigs’s cake literally falls to the floor.

On to the judging!

Are you ready for the quickest rollercoaster through 12 bakes of varying success made by 12 bakers of varying names (I can’t remember them all yet).

“Giuseppe, you’ve got some skill, dude-man” says Chigs, with the energy of a teacher desperately trying to get on a level with Year 9.

Jürgen’s Pixar lamp is so authentic that if you plugged it to the mains you wouldn’t be surprised if it switched on.

My word, Crystelle and Jürgen’s bakes look amazing! Colour me impressed. And nervous.

I know you’re concerned about me, but I’m not sure this liveblog is not the place for us to talk about this!

There’s going to be a collapse, isn’t there? And I don’t just mean our mental states.

Ah, Jairzeno is going to try to fix the problem with a Bake Off classic – putting it in the fridge and ignoring it.

I think this is a really big challenge for a first week showstopper.

I totally agree. It’s getting a little excessive, isn’t it? Remember these also have to stand for a few hours while they clean the tent/do beauty shots etc!

Sorry I went quiet there. Jairzeno is getting me very stressed and I was busy gnawing my digits off. This is very intense, isn’t it?!

Remember … no gravity-defying bake will ever beat Nadiya’s one.

OK. THIS is the best ever Nadiya facial expression. It cannot be beat. #GBBO

— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) August 26, 2015

“I’d eat cake off the floor” says Freya, summarising much of my diet while practising for the tent.

Can we take a little moment to congratulate ex-Bake Off contestant Andrew Smyth from the 2016 series? He’s now a judge and EXECUTIVE PRODUCER on a new show on Netflix called Baking Impossible’ where bakers have to construct engineering feats that can be edible, similar to this challenge (sheds proud tear).

I can confirm that I would die for Maggie (/Prue). “You’re just trying to make me squash my raaarrrrspberries”, she chortles.

maggie is a gay icon, confirmed. #GBBO

— michael chakraverty (@mschakraverty) September 21, 2021

I am fascinated by Jürgen. He is an enigma. Quite possibly a spy. Elsewhere, George is struggling to count eight eggs.

How on earth has Giuseppe managed to keep his Bake Off adventure secret from his children? They’re living and baking in a bubble for ten weeks!

They threw darts at walls with random words on again, didn’t they?

First dart lands on: defies gravity!

Second dart lands on: reminds you of a childhood memory!

“The whole point of an anti-gravity cake …” begins Paul. That’s a contradiction in terms. There is no point. Just make a vicky sponge and be done with it.

The first Showstopper of the series is ...

… a gravity-defying illusion cake! AKA, the kind of brief that strikes fear into any baker’s heart.

Okay so during this ad break let’s do some predictions. Who do we think’s going to be first out, and who’s going to win the series? My money is on Lizzie, Jairzeno or George to be leaving us, and Crystelle will be my winner whether she makes it that far or not.

Remember they won the 1oom men’s final too...

italy could potentially win the euros, the eurovision and #GBBO in one year

— aoif 🦕 (@aaaaoif) September 21, 2021

Maggie is from DORSET?! I am from Dorset! This is big news for me AND Dorset.

Dame Maggie of Dorset coming in first place, as is right. Long live Dame Maggie, may she reign and prosper.

Here’s where we stand after the technical judging (I mean, you have no idea who any of these people are but I’m doing it anyway): 12. Amanda 11. Chigs. 10. Giuseppe. 9. Jairzeno 8. Crystelle 7. Rochica 6. Jürgen 5. Tom. 4. Lizzie. 3. George. 2. Freya. 1. Maggie!

In summary, they are pretty much all a good colour, with the right amount of tension, chewiness, and have an even distribution of fruit. In a different order, twelve times.

The technical judging is here.

Every Malt loaf that has ever been baked is the same. In this 10,000 word essay I will ...

#GBBO Chigs during lockdown: learns to bake for the first time, renovates house, climbs rocks

Me during lockdown:

— Rachel O'Regan (@Rachel_ORegan) September 21, 2021

Top tip during this advert break - to get a uniform split down the centre of a loaf cake, simply brush a straight line of melted butter across the bottom of the tin or the top of the cake batter before baking.

Personally, my sexuality is Maggie trilling “scrumptious”.

“Can’t have a dry bottom”, mutters George. Couldn’t agree more.

“Make the butter”, say the instructions. It’s fast becoming a Bake Off tradition that people have to make butter, isn’t it? Oops - Crystelle’s got cream in her eye ...

I can’t stop looking at the immaculate parting in Chigs’s hair. It’s like he did it with Giuseppe’s ruler from the last challenge.

Noel Fielding: ”You can live off malt loaf, apparently” The new Huel.

Half an inch seems conservative, tbh.

Malt loaf has to be served in a slab with half an inch of butter on top. Rules is rules.

Maybe Lizzie would be less rushed if she wasn’t nattering with Noel about ostriches.

Ahh, Chigs - a top tip for golden syrup or treacle, just hold your spoon under a hot tap for a couple of minutes. Slides right off. You’re welcome.

The subtitles for Paul and Prue eating that malt loaf there: “MMFFFSFSSFFS”

The Technical is a malt loaf!

“Those of you who are under 35 may never have heard of it”, says Prue. Which is nonsense, because we all guzzled these on Duke of Edinburgh expeditions.

Bingo - Crystelle has a blue plaster on!

NO HANDSHAKE?! Sure Paul. I mean you’ve been dishing them out willy nilly for the past ten series but sure, stop them now.

Lizzie’s defence of her melted mini rolls consists entirely of her just listing types of animals. Elsewhere, Giuseppe has absolutely destroyed this challenge, hasn’t he? They look incredible. Surely Paul’s right hand is itching right now.

Jürgen tasting his own cake during the judging and saying that it is fabulous to Paul and Prue is an ultimate boss move. I love him.

“It’s pudding”, says Prue about George’s bake. She said that to me once, as a criticism, in Dessert Week. I’m still cross about it now.

“There’s an abstract swirl”, protests Crystelle, before claiming that it’s hidden by the cream. Lies aside, I have to say hers are the only ones in the tent that I want to eat. And I really really want to eat them.

Prue once again trying to get that “it’s worth the calories” catchphrase to stick. Bless.

Prue and Maggie are slowly merging into one person, aren’t they? “It’s like a Dickens novel”, complains Noel.

It’s the Signature Mini-Roll Judging.

Wait did Maggie just say “one has to” like The Queen would?

I need someone to pipe Crystelle’s jaggery whipped cream directly into my mouth.

Admirable that Lizzie is presenting photos of her family on the table next to her Swiss rolls, as if Prue and Paul will give a damn.

One baker: “This is what I call covering up the cracks.”

Another baker: “There are cracks everywhere.”

Thank goodness there aren’t two queer guys running a Guardian Bake Off liveblog right now to make smutty jokes on this ...

Half of the bakers appear to be folding their bakes rather than rolling them. Yikes.

“I am going to cover it to make it look more attractive.” – me hiding my personality while dating.

I’m awfully concerned about all the bakers’ plentiful cracks.

Maggie whilst preparing her Signature: “This mini roll is not for turning.”

I want Giuseppe to call me “amore” like he does with his children. Probably something unresolved with me there – let’s not pull that thread.

It was inevitable that there’d be wardrobe mix-up with them airing so close together, I suppose...

Looks like Noel Fielding is wearing Claudia Winkleman’s hair.

Chigs has only been baking for 12 months and he’s on Bake Off. Over lockdown he’s fixed his bike, painted his house and solved the global climate crisis. Exhausting.

That was an unfortunate shot, wasn’t it? Tom appeared to remove his glasses to check out Amanda’s bottom, and from the looks of things he wasn’t particularly impressed.

Lizzie, who has a dog, called Prudence, is also Noel’s twin. They are even wearing the same clothes. Oh and she designs cars for a living.

Lizzie and Noel are twins. Just look at them. #GBBO

— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) September 21, 2021

It’s not *not* accurate...

Jürgen waiting for Matt to stop singing the Flinstones theme in German so he can carry on cooking #gbbo

— ★ ANASTAZIA ★ (@__Anastazia__) September 21, 2021

“I’m the youngest … by a lot,” says Freya. Thank God she said that when her mixer was on its loudest setting. I’ve also Googled and she’s younger than the iconic Atomic Kitten record The Tide Is High. How is this possible?!

Ahhh, Freya. The first vegan baker of the Bake Off franchise, and the baby of the year at 19 years old. She was born in 2002: the same year as Avril Lavigne’s immortal Sk8er Boi.

Petition for Maggie to play The Queen in the final series of the Crown. I’m already obsessed with her.

Oh god the Black Forest is this year’s mango, isn’t it.

Tom owns a model railway business, and my heart has just EXPLODED!

Let’s hope he can keep track of his ingredients. And that he doesn’t run out of steam. I could go on, but I shouldn’t.

Not as good as Sura from last year and her cat, Shadow…

just thinking about Queen Sura walking her cat #GBBO

— michael chakraverty (@mschakraverty) September 23, 2020

Important update: Jürgen has a rabbit called Humphrey. That is all.

Jürgen has a rabbit called Humphrey. That is all. #GBBO

— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) September 21, 2021

A nice précis of the UK watching the opening sequence here...

Crystelle’s doing a punny “Chai and Chai again” bake, and the flavours sound incredible. I have decided she is my winner.

The first Signature challenge is 12 individually decorated mini rolls!

Bingo! Something that will take the bakers hours and hours that you could buy for 99p.

“Are you worried about the judges at all?”. “No”. Alright, then.

“When you first go into the tent, it is like walking into the Sistine Chapel.”

Me: *whispers* “I think he might be Italian*

Well. Let’s all just move on swiftly from that collective fever-dream, shall we? Probably best we don’t speak of it again. Good? Good.

If you’re watching Bake Off for the first time in a number of years ... no, we have no idea what is going on either.

Prue Leith in a mullet and moustache playing the piano? I’d swipe right tbh, I’ve seen worse.

And here are mine:

  • Someone being penalised for their ice cream showstopper melting on the hottest day in England since 1904, resulting in a viral discussion on Twitter about whether Love Productions need to invest in air conditioners.
  • A technical challenge that takes the bakers four hours and many tears, but you can buy as a Mr Kipling four pack at Tescos.
  • Someone doing a Chakraverty in the opening week resulting in a cameo by a medic.

If I never see a Hollywood Handshake again it’ll be too soon. They’re being given out like lateral flow tests in a school gym. Anyway, here’s this week’s Bake Off Bingo:

  • Someone talking about ‘cracks’
  • Mangoes, or white chocolate
  • Blue plasters
  • Prue getting pissed

By sheer coincidence in 2021 I continue to be single (find me on Hinge).

It is so gorgeous to be back with you Michael and all of you here. If you follow me on Twitter you would see that I am a slight fan of this show. Once I watched every Technical Challenge in a single day to see whether we were in Hollywood Handshake Inflation (we were). I also have key Bake Off anniversaries in my calendar, such as last week when we marked five years since Val made a Noah’s Ark showstopper featuring *one* of every animal.

Five years ago today Val did a Noah’s Ark showstopper during bread week. Never forget. #GBBO

— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) September 7, 2021

We’re diving straight back in with Cake Week. If you have somehow managed to forget last year’s mishaps, here’s a little reminder:

laura has made the man from the pringles can #GBBO

— michael chakraverty (@mschakraverty) September 22, 2020

Me after the latest Boris statement #GBBO

— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) September 22, 2020

Well hello again...

...and welcome to this year’s Bake Off liveblog! Scott and I are here once more to guide you through the next 10 weeks of cake-based calamities. If you’re new here, hello! I baked beneath those famous peaks a few years ago and Scott will no doubt introduce himself with some sort of graph in a minute.


Scott Bryan and Michael Chakraverty

The GuardianTramp

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