It was the final of Britain's Best Home Cook on Thursday night and viewers were on tenterhooks to see which contestant would triumph in the first series of Mary Berry's brand spanking new BBC One culinary competition. So, who won Britain's Best Home Cook? And, did the right person win?
Britain's Best Home Cook premiered on BBC One last month. Presented by Claudia Winkleman and described as "the ultimate immersive cooking competition," the eight-part series saw ten contestants living and cooking together while competing to win the show. Each week, the contestants were set challenges to test their cooking skills, creativity, and individual flair, with that week's poorest cook eliminated from the competition and banished from the Britain's Best Home Cook living quarters.
Back on judging duties for the BBC for the first time since her The Great British Bake Off glory days was Mary Berry, flanked by fellow judges Chris Bavin (aka The Naked Grocer) and chief director of Duck and Waffle, Dan Doherty.
Thursday night's final saw Britain's Best Home Cook's three remaining contestants Dipa, Pippa, and Phillip battle it out in the eighth and final episode of the series. So, who won?
Following an intense series of challenges, it was ultimately Pippa Middlehurst and her astonishing looking Raspberry and Mango cake — which was actually an incredibly risky twist on a Mary Berry classic — who home-cooked her way to victory. Speaking after her win, Pippa said: "I never thought that I could win this, but i’m only here because of Christian — and it means a lot to me because he believed in me even when I didn’t. I’m really proud of myself."
"It's been a joy watching Pippa," Mary Berry said. "She is a true home cook. She enjoys what she does and she just goes the extra mile. I think you're an inspiration to all cooks at home and that boyfriend of yours is very lucky. I've really loved spending time with all our cooks. They've started from humble beginnings and they've advanced — they've learnt — so much."
"From day one, [Pippa] was an incredibly talented cook and she has developed and improved and for me, she is an absolute deserved winner," added Chris Bavin.
But, did viewers feel the same? Why, yes, actually. Following the final of Britain's Best Home Cook, pleased viewers took to social media to congratulate Pippa as the deserved winner of the show (well, almost all of them).
Fortunately for Pippa, Mary, and the BBC, the winner of Britain's Best Home Cook's was successfully kept under wraps until the final itself, which is of course more than can be said for the 2017 series of The Great British Bake Off, after new judge Prue Leith accidentally tweeted out the name of winner — Sophie Faldo — just hours before the final was due to air while on holiday in Qatar. A mistake which left restaurateur Leith feeling "awful."
Alas, Pippa's win came as a happy surprise to viewers at home.
Indeed, I'm happy to report there were no such slip ups throughout the entire pilot series of Britain's Best Home Cook, and it seems like Mary Berry and the BBC are a winning combination. Thus, I'm pretty confident this isn't the last we've seen of Winkleman and Berry as a double act, so here's hoping the series will live on for another day.
So, with that being said, congratulations on your win Pippa and bring on the second series!
Britain's Best Home Cook airs on BBC One