Entertainment

Crumbs! First baker gets the boot as Great British Bake Off kicks off

The first episode of the ninth series included a reference to Prue Leith's epic Twitter blunder from last year.

Amateur baker Imelda is the first contestant of the new series of The Great British Bake Off to leave the tent.

The countryside recreation officer, 33, from County Tyrone in Northern Ireland, failed to impress judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood across the last two of her three challenges.

The new series of the baking programme kicked off with biscuit week, a break from the usual cake-week launch.

The 12 new bakers were tasked with creating 24 regional biscuits in the signature challenge and eight Wagon Wheels, a childhood favourite of Hollywood’s, in the technical challenge.

The third challenge of the episode, the showstopper, saw the contestants create 3D biscuit selfie portraits.

Imelda made an impression with her cherry and white chocolate oatmeal biscuits in the first round, but she struggled in the technical challenge, coming in 11th place.

Her final bake, for which she constructed her own face in biscuit against a seaside backdrop, was critiqued as “quite simple” and “a little bland, and dry” by Leith.

Hollywood said he could not detect her flavours of lemon and ginger, and compared the overall bake to a “stale shortbread”.

Deliberating who should leave the tent, Leith and Hollywood were torn between Imelda, retired air steward Terry, 56, and 29-year-old project manager Ruby.

But it was Imelda who was ultimately given the boot.

She said: “I’m frustrated because I know I can do better, but at the same time, it was one of the best experiences of my life.”

Manon, a 26-year-old French software project manager who lives in London, was named the first Star Baker of the series after wowing the judges with her “exquisite” showstopper creation.

She also came third in the technical challenge, despite her lack of knowledge about Wagon Wheels.

The new series of the popular baking programme started with a fun skit poking fun at Leith’s blunder from last year, where she accidentally revealed the winner hours before the final aired.

Presenters Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig took part in a sketch referencing the 1980s Back To The Future films, which saw them having to go back in time in order to stop Leith from posting her tweet.

This is the second series of Bake Off to air on Channel 4 after it moved from BBC One.

The Great British Bake Off continues on Tuesday at 8pm on Channel 4.

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