Trolling Bake Off finalists ‘disgusting’

Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood has defended the decision to put Laura through to next week's final
Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood has defended the decision to put Laura through to next week’s final

The Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood has defended finalist Laura after she was criticised by viewers online after the semi-final.

Laura faced negative comments on social media after narrowly avoiding elimination this week, at the expense of Hermine.

In a lengthy Instagram post, Hollywood labelled it as “disgusting behaviour”.

He stressed that he and fellow judge Prue Leith make their decisions based purely on the food in front of them.

“Those of you who may not be aware how Bake Off works or new to the series may have missed what we have always done on Bake Off judging,” wrote Hollywood.

“Each week stands on its own!! It never matters what any baker has done in previous weeks.

Hermine, pictured with presenter Matt Lucas, was a real fan's favourite before her exit this week
Hermine, pictured with presenter Matt Lucas, was a real fan’s favourite before her exit this week

“Even if you win 4/5 star bakers and then have a bad week you will be at risk of going sadly. It’s the rule that has been in place for 11 years!!”

He added: “Also I only give out handshakes in signature [rounds] not in Showstopper or technical, there was one exception three years ago… stop trolling any of the bakers!!

“Remember Prue and I can actually smell and eat the bakes… Bring on the final X”

Hollywood’s post came after Laura posted on Twitter: “It’s OK to be sad your favourite person didn’t go through, but please remember it’s not my fault. I don’t make the decisions. GBBO is all about kindness and I haven’t seen much of that on here.”

She added: “It’s easy to sit there on your sofa and judge. But I am a real person with feelings. Please take a moment to consider your words before you judge someone you’ve never met and whose food you’ve never tasted.”

Hermine also posted on Instagram encouraging viewers not be abusive on her behalf.

Replying to Hollywood’s post on Instagram, Laura showed her appreciation. “Thank you Paul that really means a lot to me,” she wrote.

Rahul Mandal, who won Bake Off in 2018, added his support. “Thanks so much for clarifying this Paul,” he posted.

“It means so much for all of us bakers. I hope people will understand and try to be kinder with bakers.”

The remaining bakers – Laura, Peter and Dave – will compete in the 2020 final on Tuesday 24 November.

This year’s show was pre-recorded in the summer, due to the pandemic, with the contestants forming a “bubble” together at a Hertfordshire hotel, following Covid-19 guidelines.

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