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BBC bakers return for Channel 4’s Bake Off festive specials

PUBLISHED: 12:29 21 November 2017 | UPDATED: 12:29 21 November 2017

GBBO judges Noel, Sandi, Paul and Prue are ready for the festive special. Picture: MARK BOURDILLON/CHANNEL 4 TELE

GBBO judges Noel, Sandi, Paul and Prue are ready for the festive special. Picture: MARK BOURDILLON/CHANNEL 4 TELE

© Mark Bourdillon/Love Profuctions/Channel4 (Channel 4 images must not be altered or manipulated in any way) CHANNEL 4 PICTURE

Great British Bake Off withdrawal symptoms? Fear not: there are two festive editions coming to a small screen near you soon on Channel 4

Remember when we all thought the world would end because The Great British Bake Off was moving from BBC1 to Channel 4? Now we’re waiting for the two Christmas editions with barely concealed festive glee - what fickle creatures we are.

Yes, several million people deserted the show since it was on BBC1, but Channel 4 made it clear it only needed three million to ‘break even’ and it got 6.5million, therefore becoming the channel’s eighth most popular show ever after A Woman of Substance in 1985, which about a woman rising to wealth and power (rather than about someone who had eaten all the pies from Bake Off).

Yes, the ad breaks are a bit annoying but they give you enough time to make a cup of tea and at the end of the day, it’s a programme about cakes and biscuits, and as one baker put it “it’s just a sponge, no one’s going to die” if they have to wait three minutes to find out whether someone has a damp posterior.

The Great British Bake Off as we knew it is dead. Long live The Great British Bake Off (and if you don’t like it, you can crumpet). So onwards and upwards as Prue Leith, Paul Hollywood, Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig bring some holiday cheer to The Great British Bake Off in two festive episodes, on Channel 4.

In each episode four former bakers from previous series will return to the tent to go head to head in three seasonal challenges to find out who will top the tree as Star Baker - Paul Jagger, Beca Lyne-Pirkis, Selasi Gbormittah and Val Stones and then in episode two, Benjamina Ebuehi, Rob Billington, Rav Bansal and Sandy Docherty are the ones facing the judging panel and attempting to impress Paul and Prue.

Remember the bakers?

* Paul Jagger, 51, is a prison governor who took part in series six and was eliminated in week eight (patisserie). His previous GBBO highlight was his jaw-droppingly detailed Lion bread creation

* Beca Lyne-Pirkis, 35, has her own Welsh language cookery show titled Bexws and was in series four. She was eliminated in week nine (French pastry) and her macarons were so exquisite that she was nicknamed ‘Becaron’.

* Selasi Gbormittah, 31, is a banker and was in series seven. He was eliminated in week nine and made it through to the semi-final of Bake Off.

* Val Stones, 67, a retired teacher, was in series seven and was eliminated in week five despite winning the nation’s heart with her dancing. Her emotional goodbye speech tapped at the nation’s hearts. She said “When you bake, you always bake for a reason. You’re giving it to people, so you make it best you can. And you make it with love.”

* Benjamina Ebuehi, 25, was also in series seven and is now pursuing a career in food. He was eliminated in week eight and was loved for her ‘flavoursome bakes’.

* Rob Billington, 31, a photographer, was eliminated in pie week (five). When his pristine chocolate cake slid onto the floor at the end of the challenge, another lowlight for Rob was during the week he went out, when his custard meringue pie collapsed.

* Rav Bansal, 28, a baker, was in series seven and was eliminated in series six (botanical week). He was well-known for his exotic and experimental fusion of flavours – which meant he was in the bottom of each technical challenge for three weeks in a row.

* Sandy Docherty, 52, a child welfare officer, was in series six and was eliminated in week four. You may remember her for ‘the wobble dance’.

* The Great Festive Bake Off will be shown on Channel 4 over Christmas. Times and days to be announced

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