Why The Great British Baking Show Fans Are Obsessing Over Rowan

As usual, The Great British Baking Show giveth, then it taketh away. First, there was fan favorite Howard Middleton who, per Primetimer, captured viewers' hearts and stomachs with his calm, cool, collected persona and tasty-looking bakes in season 4. Sadly, Howard was eliminated too soon, leaving audiences pining for his sweet, grandpa-like presence for the remainder of the season. Then, in season 7, we met "Cake Whisperer" Val Stone, who charmed anyone within listening distance by singing to her bakes. But, we said goodbye to Val when her soggy-bottomed tart didn't make the cut (via The Sun).

Now, GBBO fans are lamenting the elimination of Rowan Williams, who was recently cut from the pack of competitive bakers during "bread week." This one hit fans particularly hard because Rowan was a rare bright light in the dark tunnel that has been 2020. Decider sums up this polite, humble, dapperly-dressed British gentleman as "the epitome" of great contestants on GBBO. Rowan's positive attitude and sunshiny outlook persisted through his elimination, where he said (per Worcester News), "I feel very content. I have had a wonderful time. It's been exhausting, but very rewarding." 

Before he and his signature waistcoat exited the show, Rowan made sure to leave behind a hand-written letter of thanks to GBBO fans because, of course he did.

Rowan's goodbye letter said his experience was extraordinary

According to Hello Magazine, The Great British Baking Show posted Rowan's handwritten letter on Twitter, eliciting comments from fans expressing their adoration. One viewer noted, "The world would be a better place with more people like Rowan." The music teacher's letter read, in part, "Late last year I decided it was time for an adventure, so filled in the Bake Off application and so began an amazing journey — the trip of a lifetime! What an extraordinary experience in this most extraordinary of years! Although it was fabulously harder work than I could ever have imagined (the in-tent baking is just the tip of a very large iceberg), and it has always been my weakness to give myself impossibly ambitious goals, I have loved every bit of this marvelous opportunity."

Before closing the letter, Rowan thanked Paul Hollywood and the other judges and addressed his fellow contestants. He wrote, "... it has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to work alongside such talented and lovely people. I never once felt that we were competing against one another — our only adversary was the clock!" What a class act. This won't be the absolute last fans will see of Rowan though — he's slated to join Jo Brand on the The Great British Baking Show's spin-off, Extra Slice.