By Emma Dooney
Great British Bake Off viewers have called out judge Paul Hollywood for his ‘harsh’ treatment of Maggie, this year's oldest—and possibly most lovable— contestant.
Fans of the Channel 4 baking competition have condemned the celebrity chef for his behavior towards retired nurse Maggie, slamming his criticism of her bread recipes on last night’s episode as "rude" and "unnecessarily harsh."
At 70, the Dorset woman is the oldest of the Great British Bake Off 2021 contestants and brings decades of experience in the kitchen to the show’s iconic tent. Having previously spoken of her specialty for doughy delights, viewers were eager to see what she would whip up for the series’ notoriously challenging Bread Week.
It was also expected Maggie would go head-to-head with Bake Off’s Jürgen, who shares her strong background in the art of loaf-making.
Unfortunately, she fell short of one judge’s standards with her ‘Showstopper’ dish—a milk bread-shaped octopus. The English pro baker bluntly asked Maggie whether the ocean-inspired recipe warranted four hours of work, prompting her to quickly reply, “It was for me.” His cold vibes towards Maggie could also be felt in Biscuit Week, when he told her she “must try harder”—à la a condescending schoolteacher or parent.
Bake Off fans have been quick to defend the talented pensioner, taking to Twitter to share their displeasure with Paul’s attitude.
“I do think Paul Hollywood is unnecessarily harsh to Maggie. He’s really quite mean to her compared to the others. He was mean about her showstopper last week, and this week again. Her octopus looked great," one person wrote.
Raging at Paul’s ‘must try harder’ comment to Maggie. The audacity. #GBBO pic.twitter.com/5he5mOeFt0September 28, 2021
“Raging at Paul’s ‘must try harder’ comment to Maggie. The audacity," another annoyed viewer said.
Luckily for Maggie, her performance was enough to see her through to another week. Rochica, 27, was the unfortunate contestant to be eliminated, after placing last in the Technical challenge and failing to impress the judges with her garlic focaccia recipe.
Emma is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.
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