Spoiler alert: This blog reveals who left last night’s Bake-Off, so don’t read on if you don’t want to know.

As summer trundles to a disappointing close, talk turns to the return of the behemoths of the TV world. Gossip columns are bursting at the seams with who is doing Strictly and rumours from The X Factor, Doctor Who trailers are appearing and Downton is soon to begin it’s swansong. I can’t help feeling if Keats was to write Ode to Autumn now it would be less ‘mellow fruitfulness’ and more ‘sipping shiraz whilst Sky plus-ing everything’.

But before we kiss goodbye to the least summery-summer ever, let us bask in its most joyful fruit, The Great British Bake-Off. How anyone bar the hyper health-freaks can be immune to its charms is beyond me. Where else would you see a lion made out of bread? Or an edible fire-engine biscuit box? Within five seconds of the show returning I was once entranced.

Its success must be one of the most infuriating things to other channels. Firstly, how did it become so popular in the first place? And second, why do so many imitators fail? The answer to the first is that it’s cake, by the way, and in response to the second I think ITV need to reconsider just how popular plates of burnt meat really are.

A big part if it’s success is its consistency. No judging shake-ups or presenter switching. Paul, Mary, Mel and Sue are THE Bake-Off experience. No messing with the format. It has that quality which every show secretly craves – reliability.

It helps that pretty much every contestant that had graced the tent is a delight too. My favourites this year are Mat (a sweetheart who comes every week with instructions from the wife), Tamal (who I imagine bakes at home wearing safety goggles whilst tubes bubble around him) and Sandy. Ah, Sandy. It was like watching a Victoria Wood character come to life. Her dry, occasionally daft humour, lightened-up the tent.

Alas, she is no more. She fell victim to rebellious crème brulee’s and mutinous cheesecakes. Sometimes the stars don’t align for someone and this week it was her. The tent will be that little duller without her. Next week is free-from week, which is apt, as we are now regrettably free from this year’s biggest character.

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