Great British Bake Off hopefuls are invited to submit their applications for next year's show via the Channel 4 website.

Applications have officially opened for next year’s series of The Great British Bake Off.

The creators of the Channel 4 contest opened submissions following Tuesday night’s semi-final, which saw Hertfordshire mum Stacey kicked out following a high-pressure patisserie-based round.

Fans applauded Stacey as she was booted from the show after producing an impressive meringue-based showstopper dessert.

The Hertfordshire mother was eliminated in Tuesday night’s semi-final of the Channel 4 show, in a particularly tough round of the competition that judge Paul Hollywood described as the “hardest decision” he has ever made on the programme.

The competition was so close that he and co-judge Prue Leith had to look back on Stacey’s performance throughout the series, rather than the single episode. Last week, Stacey was named star baker.

Her exit left the last leg of this year’s competition open to finalists Steven, Sophie and Kate.

As the programme continues to see success following its move from its former BBC One home to the commercial broadcaster, creators are already preparing for a fresh run in 2018.

This year’s season marked a debut for presenters Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding, who took over from previous hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, and Prue Leith, who joined Paul Hollywood as judge following the departure of Mary Berry.

Hopeful participants have until January 7 to submit their applications online, via the show’s website.

The Great British Bake Off final will air at 8pm on Channel 4 on Tuesday.