LONDON — A judge on the Great British Bake Off, a widely watched television cooking competition in the U.K., has been forced to apologize after revealing the winner hours before the final episode was scheduled to air.
Prue Leith posted the name of the winner on her Twitter feed while traveling in Bhutan, which is six hours ahead of Britain, thinking that fans had already seen the last installment.
Leith, 77, later tweeted: “I am so sorry to the fans of the show for my mistake this morning. I am in a different time zone and mortified by my error.”
The Great British Bake Off has a strong hold on the U.K. public — last year, nine of the country’s top ten TV programs were episodes of the series, with the finale being watched by nearly 16 million viewers. Contestants who win the Bake Off often become national celebrities, appearing on other TV shows and at charity events.
Channel 4 scored a coup earlier this year when it bought the rights to Bake Off. The program is such a hit that the fact the season finale landed on Halloween this year did not daunt TV executives.
Some Britons took to Twitter in anguish Tuesday over hearing the news of the winner before the show, with one commentator writing that Leith “nailed it” as a clown for Halloween.
The show aired Tuesday night in Britain and the title was won by baker Sophie Faldo.