A farewell to Val from Bake Off, the nation’s lovely granny

Why do bad things happen to good people???

We have reached the halfway point of The Great British Bake Off, and our hearts have been broken by the departure of fan favourite Val from the tent. The women who whispers to her cakes, does aerobics while she bakes and worried that she wasn’t going to be let back into Yorkshire if she couldn’t present perfect Yorkshire puddings to Paul and Mary. She’s the dippy northern granny we never had and we loved her for it.

Her eccentricities made her the most lovable of this year’s Bake Off contestants – yes, we all had a little cry when we discovered that Selasi has a girlfriend – but Val will always come out on top as the most beloved. Her first moment on Bake Off and we were hooked as she called SOS for assistance in opening a jar, which was directly followed by her introduction as a ‘keep fit fanatic and Ed Sheeran fan’.

Her positive effervescence made her habit of dropping bakes not only endearing but was part of the quintessential greatness that was Val. Remember that time when she used a cake as a literal fan to cool her cake? That was another classic Val moment that warmed the cockles of our hearts – and now they’re gone forever.

It was only natural that we would want Val to stay with us to provide this entertainment and joy for as long as possible. But as a series of nail biting weeks made clear, her bakes we often very hit and miss and put her at risk of being eliminated from the competition.

Indomitable as ever, week on week Val remained ever cheerful and smiling, making our dark days brighter. Nothing would dampen her spirits as she took criticism from Paul and Mary with a smile and some sass. Her creation of a bread Noah’s Ark created an image of marital discord between Mr and Mrs Elephant that rivalled Eastenders level drama. In short Val is a Bake Off legend.

She has clung on for the past few weeks as the perpetual underdog, pulling herself up to bake another day more than a few times. And I was certain that pastry week would be another such occasion. She Val-iently (sorry) defended her Danish pastries to Mary’s criticism in the signature challenge and it looked as though she had the technical challenge in the bag when it transpired that she makes a bakewell tart every week for her family.

However, the fates conspired to sabotage her pastries. It all went wrong for Val – and our hearts collectively broke as it happened.

When she found out she was going home, we all had our love for her rekindled as she left us with these final wonderful words: ‘When you bake, you always bake for a reason, and you’re giving it to people so you make it the best you can and you make it with love. And whenever I make anything I stir love into it, I knead love into it, so when I present it, it’s special’.

Her eyes were filled with tears and we watched through our fingers. We’ll miss her so much.