‘The Great British Baking Show’s 2020 Winner Sums Up Why This Season Was so Great

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The weirdest, wildest, and most wondrous season of The Great British Baking Show has finally come to an end. In a year ravaged by a pandemic, the team behind the sweetest show in the world created a “Bake Off Bubble” at Down Hall just to bring us Bake Off nerds a new season of our favorite show. In the end, despite the controversy and the mayhem, the show was indeed a tribute us nerds. After all, the winner of The Great British Baking Show in 2020 was none other than Peter Sawkins, a self-professed fanboy of the series.

Yes, Peter won The Great British Baking Show. Peter Sawkins is not only the youngest winner in the show’s history, but he only got into baking because of his love of the show! From this season’s premiere, where Peter admitted to stealing tips from past bakers, to this sublimely sweet finale, Peter represented the best of us Bake Off nerds — and he now has the glass cake stand to prove it.

As big as The Great British Baking Show is on Netflix, it’s perhaps even bigger over in the UK. For the past ten years, the show has become a monolith drawing major ratings and defining the zeitgeist. I mean, after she won, Nadiya Hussain was asked to bake the queen’s birthday cake. That’s how big of a big deal it is across the pond. And that’s how big it must have been in the eyes of Peter Sawkins.

Peter winning The Great British Baking Show
Photo: Netflix

The 20-year-old Scot has often admitted that he’s been obsessed with The Great British Baking Show for half his life. Literally. He was an actual child when the show debuted and the third season — available on Netflix as The Great British Baking Show: Beginnings — inspired him to become a baker himself. As he shared in this week’s finale, he’s watched that specific season “eight or nine times.” He is one of us, guys! He’s someone who rewatches their favorite seasons of The Great British Baking Show, takes inspiration from the showstoppers, and debates what bakers could have done better.

And what could Peter have done better? Not much, to be honest. Judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith might have said the final decision was the closest in the show’s history, but as soon as it was down to a tie between Peter and Dave Friday, it was just about obvious that Peter should edge out. It’s not that the two remaining male bakers weren’t neck-and-neck in that finale, but that Peter has had a near perfect Great British Baking Show run. He was Star Baker in the first and last weeks, and only was in the bottom once. He’s kept his head, learned from his mistakes, and sagely strategized each and every brief.

In short, Peter approached The Great British Baking Show like a true Bake Off nerd!

Young Peter baking on The Great British Baking Show
Photo: Netflix

When it comes down to it, the 2020 season of The Great British Baking Show was made for the nerds. It was wildly dramatic at times and blissfully low-key at others. Every baker in the tent was an absolute doll and everything was seemingly done with total love. Even Noel Fielding seemed to enjoy his hosting gig like never before!

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, but the Bake-Off Bubble seemed to ironically create a great sense of camaraderie amongst the cast and crew. That gorgeous tribute to the medical team and cleaners aside, the show repeatedly made a point to express the amount of effort that went into pulling this season off. Over a hundred people had to leave friends and family for six weeks of quarantine. And yet, everyone acted like it was a privilege to be there. Everyone was there because they loved the show so damn much.

Peter’s win for the nerds aside, this whole season of The Great British Baking Show felt like a tribute to us, the weirdoes who have treated an outdoor baking competition like it’s the World Cup for the last decade. The Great British Baking Show wasn’t perfect in 2020, but it was both a balm and a treat in this hellfire of a year. In the end, the real winner of this season was each and every Bake Off nerd. Good for us!

Watch The Great British Baking Show on Netflix