***Spoiler Alert if you haven’t seen PBS’ Great British Baking Show 2016 finale***
As PBS’ broadcast of the 2016 Great British Baking Show (the UK’s 2015 Great British Bake Off series) came to an end this past weekend, American viewers have finally caught up to the 15.1+ million viewers in the UK that saw Nadiya Hussain claim the top prize as Britain’s Best Amateur Baker last Fall. For those watching across this U.S. this past weekend, given the comments from judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, any of the three finalists could have won. Hussain and runners-up Ian Cumming and Tamal Ray brought their A-game to the finals with some amazing creations.
A favorite from the outset, Nadiya Hussain wowed not only the judges in the finale but hosts Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc with her self-described ‘big fat British wedding cake’ complete with jewels from her own wedding day. Hussain bested Tamal Ray’s Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake and Ian Cumming’s amazing Carrot Cake in what had to be the best finale since the series began back in 2010.
Following her 2015 victory, Hussain had the honor of baking the Queen’s birthday cake for her 90th today back in April of this year.
Fans of GBBO haven’t seen the last of the three 2015 finalists. Hussain has just signed on to help inspire the next generation of bakers as a judge for CBBC’s Junior Bake Off competition. Rumors that fan favorite Tamal Ray would jettison his baking career in favor of a career in medicine seems to have come true as Dr Tamal, the anesthetist, has signed up to appear on a new Channel 4 show. Be Your Own Doctor will see Tamal team up with Kate Quilton to find ways viewers can keep themselves healthy and avoid getting ill.
Runner-up Ian Cumming has kept busy baking for various charity events since last years finale. In addition, as the official UK photographer for the Dalai Lama, Cumming baked a cake for the spiritual leader’s 80th birthday when he visited Britain earlier this year.
While the 2015 series has, sadly, come and gone, the BBC has announced that the 2016 competition will premiere on 24 August on BBC1 some 2-3 weeks after its traditional early August premiere due to the 2016 Olympics coverage in Rio. Let’s cross our fingers that we’ll be seeing the newest series on PBS in the not too distant future.