Firstly, and briefly, I was rather amused by a certain irony last night.
For several weeks, one of the finalists has been consistently criticised for style over substance. It has been a constant refrain: style and substance. Substance. Substance.
Last night, the final bake, the one that the competition inevitably comes down to, the show-stopper challenge, was a wedding cake. That is, one of those creations where style is of critical importance. In fact, one of those creations where the style of the thing is vastly more important than the substance - the function of the cake is to be the centre-piece for the room, to look good in the resulting photos... and then, as an afterthought, to taste good in that tiny slice that each guest gets to taste.
But the second thing is this: for some time, indeed since the end of the last series, that has been the feeling that the show will inevitably be being moved to BBC1 next year, presumably so it can attract a larger audience.
Which is, frankly, bizarre. Are we supposed to believe that there are large numbers out there who have TVs that only get BBC1 and ITV? Or is it that their remote controls don't have a number '2' on them?
Honestly, it's ridiculous. People who want to see the show can get it. People who don't want to see the show can watch something else. But that's true whether the show is on BBC2 and the "something else" on BBC1, or the reverse. They're just numbers... and it's not even as if they're channels that are in competition with one another. (Of course, equally, there's no reason not to move the show. For exactly the same reason - they're just numbers.)
(In fact, franky, the concept of different 'channels' is fast becoming obselete. As recording becomes ever more popular and convenient, and as TV streaming services like iPlayer and 4oD become ever more prevalent, it becomes increasingly irrelevant whether a show is on BBC1, 2, 3, 4, BBC Hats, or whatever other channel there is. The provider matters, since one might have access to BBC but not Sky, and of course it matters whether you have to suffer adverts or not. But the distinction between BBC channels, and especially between the channels that everyone gets? Not a jot.)
#48: "Pathfinder: Sword of Valor", by Neil Spicer
#49: "The Nutmeg of Consolation", by Patrick O'Brian
#50: "The Blood of Gods", by Conn Iggulden