25/12/2018 21:15 GMT

Great British Bake Off's Christmas Special Was The Perfect Mixture Of Ingredients, Even If Flo's Cake Wasn't – HuffPost Verdict

No-one needs blue cheese in their icing.

Channel 4

K E Y   P O I N T S

  • Liam Charles (series 8), Flo Atkins (series 8) Jane Beedle (series 7) and Andrew Smyth (series 7) returned to the tent for the annual festive ‘Bake Off’ special
  • The signature challenge saw the bakers asked to make a dozen iced biscuits themed around the 12 days of Christmas
  • The technical challenge saw them make six intricately-decorated Icelandic flat breads, which saw a few of them come unstuck, with Jane breaking one at the very last minute
  • The showstopper challenge saw judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood task the contestants with making a Christmas present cake that contained a hidden design when cut into
  • The four were competing for the title of Christmas Star Baker, which was eventually awarded to Jane

S N A P   V E R D I C T

While many Christmas specials can often feel a bit shoe-horned and contrived (‘Love Island’, anyone?) ‘The Great British Bake Off’ is always one that lends itself so brilliantly to a festive edition.

Even the coldest of Christmas hearts could not have failed to be warmed by four former favourites returning to the tent to cook up some Yuletide treats. Heck, even Paul Hollywood was being unusually cuddly (and was it just us who considered whether he’d whitened his hair to look like Santa?).

There was one person in particular who made our Christmas, though, and that lady was Flo Atkins.

From revealing her love of will.i.am, to her bonkers decision to put blue cheese in the icing of her mulled wine cake – not to mention her insistence it was a good flavour combination, despite being told otherwise by the judges – the Liverpudlian pensioner’s return to the tent was nearly as iconic as as her first stint on the show.

Channel 4

While the actual technical challenge saw the bakers tasked with making an Icelandic flatbread, we should also take a moment to acknowledge the technical challenge the producers gave themselves in choosing to edit Mary Berry out of the contestants’ introductory VTs. The former judge was almost entirely airbrushed out of sight (bar a wisp of hair and a flash of one of her trademark embroidered jackets) as viewers were reminded about Jane and Andrew’s time on the show in 2016, with only comments from Paul included. Ouch.

However, Mary’s replacement, Prue Leith further cemented her place in our hearts with an innuendo so filthy, we almost choked on our turkey sandwich. But if Andrew is still making his biscuits that soggy, then what else should we have expected really?

The only downside, however, was ending an otherwise superb show with The Darkness’ ‘Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)’ – aka quite possibly the worst Christmas song ever committed to record.  

B E S T   L I N E S

Noel, presenting Sandi with a Yule Log: “Sandi, I’ve just done this.”

Sandi: “I’ll get a medic.”

I've heard about your soggy biscuits."Prue Leith to Andrew Smyth
Photo gallery 'Great British Bake Off': Where Are They Now? See Gallery