A judge on The Great British Bake Off 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 show aired Tuesday night in Britain, and the title was won by baker Sophie Faldo. The Great British Bake Off has a strong hold on the UK public—last year, nine of the country's top 10 TV programs were episodes of the series, with the finale being watched by nearly 16 million viewers.
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. Declan Cashin of the BBC was more forgiving, however. "We all make mistakes Prue. Nobody died. Most people managed to avoid the spoiler. Great job this series," he tweeted. Contestants who win the show often become national celebrities, appearing on other TV shows and at charity events. British broadcaster Channel 4 scored a coup earlier this year when it bought the rights to the show. The program is such a hit that the fact the season finale landed on Halloween this year didn't daunt TV executives.