The Great British Bloke Off (or how it's an all-boys final for the first time)
07:25 GMT, 11 October 2012
It’s the show that has fuelled the debate about which of the sexes is better in the kitchen.
And this year, it seems that – much to the dismay of women bakers everywhere – the boys have risen to the occasion.
For the first time in the show’s history, the Great British Bake Off will have an all-male final.
Slice of action: For the first time in the show's history, the Great British Bake Off will have an all-male final. Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry are pictured with the finalists
A record 5.5million viewers tuned in on Tuesday to watch medical student James Morton, company director Brendan Lynch, and law student John Thwaite beat Daniele Bryden – the last woman standing – in the programme’s semi-final.
As part of the French patisserie challenge, all four were asked to create delicate petit fours, a strawberry fraisier cake, and ‘showstopping’ choux gateaux.
However, judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry ruled that Miss Bryden’s efforts had failed to meet their exacting standards.
Yesterday, the 45-year-old intensive care consultant admitted that she was disappointed to be voted off. However, she added: ‘An all-male final is a first for the Great British Bake Off and is so very exciting – it breaks all the conventions apart which is good.’
Morton, 21, is now tipped to win the third series after being named ‘star baker’ three times, with Lynch, 63, a close contender. In contrast, 23-year-old Thwaite made a string of mistakes and is regarded by many to have been lucky to beat Miss Bryden.
Tuesday night’s programme pulled in the highest peak audience since the BBC2 programme began in 2010, beating Holby City’s 5.2million on BBC1.
Both shows averaged 5.1million viewers across the hour from 8pm, while ITV1’s repeat of the film Mamma Mia pulled in 2.1million.
Yesterday, fans of the show took to social networking sites to discuss the first all-male final.
Emily Jane Brown wrote on Twitter: ‘Well, how about that for the gender stereotyping books. Great British Bake Off is an all-male final’, while Hannah Renowden added: ‘All male Great British Bake Off final and women blitzing it at sport. This year is brilliant.’
And Ian Butler tweeted: ‘All male final. So, baking turns out to be yet another thing that men do better than women.’
Last year’s contest, which was won by grandmother Joanne Wheatley, had an all-female final while Edd Kimber beat two women to take the 2010 title.
Both have gone on to release best-selling cookbooks.
Earlier this year a report by The Grocer found that home baking is on the rise among men.
A spokesman for the magazine said: ‘Men are showing an increasing desire to get stuck into baking – inspired by male role models such as Paul Hollywood, of The Great British Bake Off.’