BAKE OFF viewers were left in tears after the show paid tribute to a crew member who tragically died.
The hit baking competition series returned to Channel 4 last night despite concerns it may have been postponed due to Her Majesty The Queen's death.
Viewers saw judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith both return to the iconic tent alongside presenters Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding.
They were also introduced to 12 new bakers who will compete each week to win the show.
The episode began with cake week, and the brand new batch of bakers tackled mini cakes, a striking sponge and a scaled-down version of a home close to their hearts.
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However, while fans were joyful with the show being finally back on screens, they were soon left in tears with a sombre tribute to a member of production who tragically died.
At the end of the episode a title card flashed up on screen which read: "In Loving Memory of Chloe Avery 1980 – 2022."
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Chloe was a producer on the programme, working on the show when it was originally broadcast on the BBC.
In 2013 Ms Avery worked on the show's spin off for charity The Great Comic Relief Bake Off.
In 2018 she was involved in the editorial department of the show.
Love Productions, the company who makes GBBO, also paid tribute toChloe on social media.
"In memory of Chloë Avery who was a much loved member of the Bake Off family," said a spokesperson.
The tribute had fans in bits, with one viewer saying: "I’m so very sorry to hear about Chloe. My deepest sympathy & condolences to all of her family & friends."
Another posted: "Very sorry for your loss. Thinking about everyone who knew & worked with Chloe."
"The biggest of hugs to the loved ones of Chloë Avery," said a third.
"Chloe passed away? Omg RIP," said a fourth fan in shock.
Chloe's cause of death is currently not known.
The Great British Bake Off will continue next Tuesday at 8pm on Channel 4.
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