A record number of viewers tuned in to see who won
MAJOR SPOILER ALERT WARNING!
Last night, The Great British Bake Off went out with a bang, ending its latest season and the show as we know it. The next time GBBO season premieres, it will be on the UK's Channel 4 and will be down three of its four original hosts—Mary Berry, Mel Giedroyc, and Sue Perkins are leaving the show and staying with the BBC to launch their own cooking series, which means only Paul Hollywood will be around to hold down the fort as the baking competition migrates to a commercial network.
On the final episode of the BBC series, Candice Brown, a 31-year-old secondary school teacher (and lipstick lover) hailing from Bedfordshire, took home the grand prize. Brown had won the title of Star Baker three times over the course of this season, and her final rounds' Queen Victoria's Mango and Strawberry Crown, Victoria Sandwich, and Picnic for Pearly Kings and Queens nabbed her top prize.
The series has also been a huge win for the BBC over its past seven seasons. According to last night's finale numbers, more than 14.8 million people tuned in to watch the finale. Considering the population of the United Kingdom rings in at just over 64 million, that's wildly impressive—23 percent of the country, if my calculator's working right. Last year, 13.4 million viewers tuned in to watch Nadiya Hussain take home the grand prize.
As for Brown, her win is still too fresh to wrap her mind around. "It hasn't sunk in at all and I'm not sure when it will do, it's just crazy but amazing," she told the BBC. "It means more to me than I think anyone will ever realize, but it will enable me to do what I want to do, which is bake all the time. I love it. I really love it."