5 fabulous Great British Bake Off moments to warm your heart

·4-min read

Watch: The Great British Bake Off teaser trailer

The nation is desperate for the new series of The Great British Bake-Off to get going. Because after the past year, we need clouds of icing sugar, silly innuendo and dropped scones in a pastel-coloured tent more than ever before. 

Guaranteed to provide an hour of joyous escape from life's stresses (unless you're actually in the tent, waiting for a Hollywood Handshake), GBBO is an institution.

Since it moved from its BBC home, with comforting jollity from Mel and Sue and the occasional pursed lip from Mary Berry, the show has gained viewers.

It's now on Channel 4, presented by Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding, while the venerable Pru Leith joins Paul 'Hardcore' Hollywood on judging duties.

Over the years, GBBO has served up some disasters (custard-gate, the time the tent got too hot and everything melted, burned biscuits and collapsed cakes) and some memorably fabulous moments. 

Here's five of the best, bunting-worthy memories from the show - and here's to many more.

1 Nadiya's Speech

Nadiya Hussein arriving at the Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women of the Year Awards at One Mayfair, London.
Photo credit should read: Doug Peters EMPICS Entertainment
The whole nation fell in love with Nadiya "I can and I will!" Hussain. (Getty Images)

Nadiya Hussain won season six of Bake Off, to her own amazement, in 2015. Quiet, funny and unassuming she won over the hearts of viewers everywhere with her relentless determination and unsung talent, and triggered national tears with her heartfelt, off-the-cuff acceptance speech. 

She said, “It’s weird because I’m never proud of myself, but I’m actually really proud of myself.” She added that she would never again listen to anyone who told her she wasn't good enough to achieve something special - "I can and I will."

Nadiya's proved herself multiple times since, baking a cake for the Queen, presenting travel and cooking TV series and writing bestselling cookery books and columns for national newspapers, all while remaining humble and charming. That's the true magic of Bake Off. 

They're back! But where are the biscuits? (Reuters)
They're back! But where are the biscuits? (Reuters)

Read more: The Great British Bake Off: Who are the previous winners and where are they now?

2 Kim Joy's animal magic

Contestant Kim Joy joined the show in 2018 and immediately set social media on fire with her amazing bakes. She loved to make beautiful animal-inspired scenes, and her fabulous creations included bumble bee donuts, woodland landscapes, and her memorable 'fox' cake with tiers and toadstools. 

There was something charmingly Playschool-like about her retro styling, and though she narrowly lost out to Rahul, she now writes cookery books and has over 300 000 followers on Instagram for her amazing creations.

Kim Joy's incredible 'fox' cake ((c) Channel 4, The Great British Bake Off)
Kim Joy's incredible 'fox' cake ((c) Channel 4, The Great British Bake Off)
<p><b>Favourite bake to make… and what would be your Desert Island Dish?</b> “Oooooh I don’t know if I have a favourite bake to make. I just love to make and learn new stuff all the time. I’ve realised that I enjoy baking the most when it’s relaxing. So that’s why I enjoy both bread, as well as decorating and doing intricate details. Both are relaxing in their own ways. My desert island dish would be some fresh doughnuts, filled with delicious creme pat.” (Channel 4/Love Productions) </p>
Kim Joy - at her most joyful when baking. (Channel 4/Love Productions)

3 Selasi's general vibe

The coolest customer Bake Off has ever witnessed in the tent, Selasi was the break-out star of Season seven, always smiling, ever-helpful and completely and utterly unfazed by the madness of the technical challenge or the Showstopper round. 

He'd sit on the floor, mildly contemplating his savarins while others freaked out. He called puff pastry 'puff', like it was his mate. He even danced with a rolling pin to cheer up fellow contestant Benjamina. 

Even when his dampfnudel got tragically burnt, he told presenter Mel, “it’s the kind of burn that you like”.

Absolute king.

Watch: Former GBBO contestant Selasi Gbormittah discuses his time on the show

4 Rahul's amazing yet humble skills

<p><b>Favourite bake to make… and what would be your Desert Island Dish?</b> “Favourite cake to make would either be a Victoria sponge with jam, cream and berries or lemon drizzle cake with lemon curd and fresh cream. I think to keep me alive in a deserted island …. I would bake some hearty biscuits with dried fruit, nuts and seeds in them. It will be something like Scottish bannock biscuits as they are tasty, stay fresh longer and easy to carry a lot in small space.” (Channel 4/Love Productions) </p>
Sweet, smart and neat. And that's just Rahul. (Channel 4/Love Productions)

Known as 'the Eeyore of the Bake Off', nuclear research scientist Rahul arrived on screen with zero self confidence and a conviction that everything he touched was doomed to failure. 

“I’m not confident with anything happening around my life … so how can the baking temperature be different?” He once said. He had only been baking for two years, and was more startled than anyone when he went and won with his meticulous creations. Rahul is still a nuclear research scientist - and does a lot of baking too, judging by his perfect curated and charming instagram account, @bakewithrahul. 

Read more: 'The Great British Bake Off' 2021: Meet the bakers competing in season 12

5 Frances' crazy showstoppers

<p>Frances Quinn is perhaps one of the most low key winners yet. Beating Ruby Tandoh to the final spot, she’s been quietly plugging away at her cooking career since taking home the winning title. Quinn released a cookbook in 2015, “Quinntessential Baking” and regularly appears at food festivals and seminars across the UK. She also has quite the Instagram following (@frances_quinn), where she regularly updates her followers with her latest culinary creations.<br />(PA Images) </p>
Frances with the judges who powered her to victory. (PA Images)

Winner of the 2013 series Frances Quinn was best known for her wild ideas, but she pulled it round in the final with her memorably perfect 'rainbow picnic pie', which was inspired by the British weather and featured rice, two types of trout, turmeric, green beans, asparagus, lemon juice, mint and dill in a woven pastry picnic hamper. 

Then she knocked up a Midsummer Night's Dream wedding cake with lemon victoria sponge, raspberries and cream, ginger and rhubarb sponge and carrot cake, decorated with confetti made from dried beetroot, mango and pineapple flowers. It was so huge she couldn't carry it to the judge's table. Now she crafts incredible creations for weddings, parties and events. 

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