The Great British Bake Off final: 'Hardest' ever to judge, Paul Hollywood

Bake off Paul Hollywood Prue
(Image credit: Mark Bourdillon)

Paul Hollywood on tonight's final

Paul Hollywood has sat in judgment over seven finals of The Great British Bake Off but he's told TV Times that this year’s contest is the most closely fought yet.

"It was the hardest final I’ve ever been involved in," said Paul. "It was so chilled until the last couple of hours when the bakers saw their families walking into the field. Then it became very real."

The finalists - Steven, Kate, and Sophie - will face three of the toughest challenges in the show’s history tonight.

A batch of loaves is on the menu for the signature challenge, while judge Prue Leith has put a tricky twist on a simple biscuit bake for the technical round which requires steady hands and nerves of steel. For their last task, they must whip up a delicate, multi-layered high-end patisserie show-stopper.

With the standard so high this year, we don’t envy the judges having to pick a winner but Paul and Prue say they were in total agreement.

"Throughout the series, I’ve often been more on about flavour – or lack of it – but when Paul and I actually add up our mental scores for each baker at the end, we always agree," said Prue, while Paul added: "I remember looking at Prue during the final and we just went, “It’s that person”. We were tuned in, which was lovely."

The Great British Bake Off: The Final is on Channel 4 at 8.00pm this evening.


David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years working for TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer for TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!