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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.