Search

Norwich Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 6°C

Norfolk Tourism Awards

GBBO 2018 contestants: Meet the bakers on Channel 4’s cookery show

PUBLISHED: 12:49 28 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:24 28 August 2018

THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF 2018 contestants

THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF 2018 contestants

Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions

Are you ready, get set, BAKE! Or rather, “WATCH PEOPLE BAKE!” The Great British Bake Off is back for 2018 with a host of new bakers and a (buttery) biscuit based beginning. Before you settle down to watch the tent-based action, meet this year’s bakers.

The Great British Bake Off (2018)
  Sandi Toksvig, Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith and Noel Fielding (C) Love ProductionsThe Great British Bake Off (2018) Sandi Toksvig, Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith and Noel Fielding (C) Love Productions

Are you ready for this year’s Great British Bake Off?

Reserve your place on the sofa, bagsie the biscuits and prepare for the rollercoaster ride which is GBBO. We will be offering our own next-day review of the show each week and EAT’s Charlotte Smith-Jarvis will be recreating bakes from the show every week to see if she can keep up with the contestants.

But before we sharpen our pens and our sweet tooth, let’s meet the bakers we’ll get to know over the next few months. From these short interviews, who is your money on?

* The Great British Bake Off is on Tuesdays at 8pm on Channel 4.

The Great British Bake Off (2018). Presenters: Noel Fielding, Sandi Toksvig and Judges Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith with Contestants (C) Love ProductionsThe Great British Bake Off (2018). Presenters: Noel Fielding, Sandi Toksvig and Judges Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith with Contestants (C) Love Productions

ANTONY: From London, age 30, a banker:

Who encouraged you to fill out the application form to be on The Great British Bake Off?

Well fortunately this was a pleasant surprise from my partner, who filled up the form and I was only introduced to the process with my first telephone interview.

What age or time in your life did you start baking and who has inspired you?

As a little kid I was always in awe of my dad who made the best Christmas cakes and pizzas back home in India. He was and will always remain my inspiration.

What is your signature bake that the family or friends love or expect for a special occasion?

Fortunately I’ve been surrounded with foodies who are up for tasting all of my concoctions. My macaroons and cakes go down a treat at special occasions.

How did you find it in the Tent, walking in on that first morning?

Excitingly scary and very surreal, after years of watching the show walking into that tent felt like walking into an expensive palace loaded with life’s biggest challenges (all good though).

Which Judge did you want to impress the most and did you find Sandi and Noel a boost to get you through?

I surely wanted to impress both Blue eyes and lovely Prue. Prue takes the cake on this one with her wealth of knowledge in the food industry is just so vast and diverse. So her taste buds were top priority! You cannot survive the tent without Noel and Sandi. Sandi’s sense of calm and Noel’s witty comments keep you smiling, I love them both.

How will you watch the first episode - who will you be with and will you have made a cake to eat with it?

The first show will be massive party with a drink or ten. I surely will try making my signature bake.

Sweet or savoury – what is your preference and why?

I think sweet with a savoury twist like a mango chilli jam or a saffron swiss meringue buttercream.

Favourite bake to make… and what would be your Desert Island Dish?

A lovely eclair with an interesting melt in the mouth filling topped with an exciting glace on the top, like a choux pastry filled with a rich chocolate hazelnut praline cream covered in exciting dark chocolate glace –just beautiful!

Did you imagine you would ever be on TV? Are you looking forward to - or fearing - seeing yourself on television?

Never in a million years did I think I would be on BRITAIN’s best television show. There are scared butterflies rumbling in my tummy as I think about transmission.

BRIONY: From Bristol, age 33, a full-time parent:

Who encouraged you to fill out the application form to be on The Great British Bake Off?

I actually filled out the application form in secret because I thought I’d never stand a chance at getting on the show.

What age or time in your life did you start baking and who has inspired you?

I only really started baking in 2013, so not that long ago.

What is your signature bake that the family or friends love or expect for a special occasion?

Cake! Lots of cake! They love my sponge cake and I’m always the one to make everyone’s birthday cakes.

How did you find it in the Tent, walking in on that first morning?

The most exciting and terrifying moment of my life! It was so amazing, exactly what you would expect and hope for going in to the tent.

Which Judge did you want to impress the most and did you find Sandi and Noel a boost to get you through?

I really wanted Prue to like my flavours because she has such a wealth of cooking experience. And of course I wanted Paul to say my food was baked well. Sandi and Noel are amazing. They really care about the bakers and always look after you, especially when things are going wrong.

How will you watch the first episode - who will you be with and will you have made a cake to eat with it?

I will be watching it with friends and family and I’ve promised to make the signature bake each week to have while we watch.

Sweet or savoury – what is your preference and why?

Sweet, every time! I have such a sweet tooth.

Favourite bake to make… and what would be your Desert Island Dish?

Victoria sponge, an oldie but a goodie!

Did you imagine you would ever be on TV? Are you looking forward to - or fearing - seeing yourself on television?

I never thought in a million years I’d be on TV! I will be watching through my fingers, probably cringing at myself.

DAN: From London, age 36, a full-time parent:

Who encouraged you to fill out the application form to be on The Great British Bake Off?

I’ve wanted to take part in The Great British Bake Off for a while, and didn’t need much encouragement! My husband has been my biggest supporter throughout the experience.

What age or time in your life did you start baking and who has inspired you?

My mother taught me to bake when I was a small child, but I had a renewed interest about six years ago when we decided to have a family of our own.

What is your signature bake that the family or friends love or expect for a special occasion?

I think everyone expects a birthday cake, or some of my decorated biscuits. I am also known for my enriched white breads, and tangy sourdoughs.

How did you find it in the Tent, walking in on that first morning?

Walking into the tent was a surreal experience! I was overcome with fear, excitement, and disbelief all at once!

Which Judge did you want to impress the most and did you find Sandi and Noel a boost to get you through?

Whilst Paul tends to be more harsh in his critiques, Prue is equally discerning; I knew I would need to impress both of them. Having Noel and Sandi in the tent was a huge help – his jokes kept me smiling and Sandi always left me feeling better - and more positive than when they found me.

How will you watch the first episode - who will you be with and will you have made a cake to eat with it?

I will be watching Bake Off through the gaps in my fingers! I will definitely invite some friends over for moral support to watch the first episode. …My friends will be expecting some sustenance!

Sweet or savoury – what is your preference and why?

I love sweet food – it’s what I get excited about, and what I love to eat the most - I love my bakes to be a real indulgence, because it’s something I’m doing for the sheer enjoyment of it.

Favourite bake to make… and what would be your Desert Island Dish?

My favourite thing to bake is probably birthday cakes – I really enjoy every part of making them, but especially the pleasure of making someone feel good. I make a killer lemon sponge that everyone raves about. My desert island dish would probably be a simple pain de mie – I don’t think I could live without bread!

Did you imagine you would ever be on TV? Are you looking forward to - or fearing - seeing yourself on television?

I never thought I would be on a TV show – in fact, I’m still not really sure why I did it! I’m pretty nervous to see myself on television – I wonder whether I’ll be able to actually watch it!

IMELDA: From County Tyrone in Northern Ireland, age 33, a Countryside Recreation Officer:

Who encouraged you to fill out the application form to be on The Great British Bake Off?

When the Bake Off casting team came over to the Richmond Centre in Derry, I got tagged on Facebook by three friends - one from university, one from school and my brother. It never occurred to me to apply until then!

What age or time in your life did you start baking and who has inspired you?

I’ve always been baking from a really young age. I’ve been fortunate to grow up in a family of bakers… my mum, my grannies and my aunties are all handy in the kitchen. My mum in particular has been such an inspiration for trying new recipes over the years. I love sitting down with my aunties even now and having a good chin wag about recipes we’re using or new things they’re trying.

What is your signature bake that the family or friends love or expect for a special occasion?

Any form of cake but normally a good solid chocolate cake! As boring as that sounds, I’ve yet to find someone who doesn’t enjoy a slice of decadent homemade chocolate cake!

How did you find it in the Tent, walking in on that first morning?

It was the most surreal moment of my life. It still doesn’t seem real that I was inside that tent. The atmosphere inside the tent was literally electric. An amazing buzz!

Which Judge did you want to impress the most and did you find Sandi and Noel a boost to get you through?

Definitely Paul. I’ve followed his baking for years and grew up watching him on TV. Also, as he’s such a notoriously harsh critic, it’s all the sweeter if you receive positive feedback from him. Sandi and Noel were incredible. I thought they’d be so removed from the bakers and retain their distance off camera but genuinely they were so supportive throughout. It was an absolute pleasure meeting them and I will forever treasure the memories of their support, along with the whole crew and other bakers.

How will you watch the first episode - who will you be with and will you have made a cake to eat with it?

Ohhhh. I’m not sure yet! I’m so nervous about it going out. Our house can be a bit mad at the best of times so I’m sure there’ll be a few gathered round the sofa!

Sweet or savoury – what is your preference and why?

Sweet. Always. My sweet tooth is my absolute nemesis and if there was one thing I’d change about myself that would be it. It’s definitely hereditary as well, my family all have it! There’s nothing quite like that satisfaction and wee buzz you get from savouring a cake or dessert that you’ve made a few hours before. Absolute bliss! It’s the simple things in life really isn’t it?!

Favourite bake to make… and what would be your Desert Island Dish?

Bread. Sweet or savoury bread is the bis. There is nothing in this world like freshly baked bread….white loaf, sour dough, fruit loaf, wheaten…bread is amazing! Is there anything better than bread and butter?! The simplicity of it. Satisfying, versatile and the one thing I definitely would want to have on an island with me!

Did you imagine you would ever be on TV? Are you looking forward to - or fearing - seeing yourself on television?

Never, ever imagined it. And absolutely dreading it!! I never thought I’d get through to Bake Off so I never considered it during the application process!

JON: From Newport in Wales, age 47, a blood courier:

Who encouraged you to fill out the application form to be on The Great British Bake Off?

My wife, Debbie – I could not have done any of this without her, she has been amazing throughout the whole process.

What age or time in your life did you start baking and who has inspired you?

I’ve been cooking for 15/16 years, ever since I would try and cook a romantic meal for Debbie when we first got together! The baking came after that as I just loved to try and create new things and I haven’t stopped baking since!

What is your signature bake that the family or friends love or expect for a special occasion?

I love to make marshmallows!! However, I am also known for my elaborate and fun cakes, for parties. My favourites are the ‘severed mummy’s leg’ (AKA raspberry roulade) for Halloween and a giant Prosecco cake for my wife’s birthday last year!

How did you find it in the Tent, walking in on that first morning?

I couldn’t believe I was there! It just didn’t seem real – to be honest, it still doesn’t seem real, even now! It was so exciting though, really an amazing experience.

Which Judge did you want to impress the most and did you find Sandi and Noel a boost to get you through?

I wanted to impress them both of course, but the Hollywood Handshake is always something to aim for!! Sandi and Noel were lovely and added fun and laughs.

How will you watch the first episode - who will you be with and will you have made a cake to eat with it?

We are planning to have a gathering of our close friends and family and I will make something from the challenges.

Sweet or savoury – what is your preference and why?

Definitely sweet, I have a very sweet tooth.

Favourite bake to make… and what would be your Desert Island Dish?

Some kind of patisserie.... something with crème pat and puff pastry – maybe a mille feuille. And for my Desert Island Dish, I’ll go for a classic French dessert, Gâteaux Saint-Honoré!

Did you imagine you would ever be on TV? Are you looking forward to - or fearing - seeing yourself on television?

Never ever! I cringe every time I think of it!! But still looking forward to the fun of it.

KAREN: From West Yorkshire, age 60, an in-store sampling assistant:

Who encouraged you to fill out the application form to be on The Great British Bake Off?

I dared myself to start the application process as my first challenge to celebrate my 60th birthday year. My daughters forwarded me the application form, they encouraged me and also helped by proof reading for me and putting in some punctuation and full sentences as I get carried away writing at speed - as I do baking at speed and doing more than one thing at a time!

What age or time in your life did you start baking and who has inspired you?

As a child of maybe eight or nine my Mam started training me to be a housewife (she failed) so she taught me the very basics - how to fold in flour in cakes and how to keep pastry tender - that type of thing. Then it was a big gap of many years before I tried some less typical everyday stuff. We had a holiday home in France and I became fascinated by the patisseries and breads, but only in the last year or so having scaled back work commitments did I try to make some, and they turned out surprisingly well. I also taught myself how to ice and decorate celebration cakes, as again I was always a bit mesmerised by seeing these works of art, I scoured books and the internet to help me.

What is your signature bake that the family or friends love or expect for a special occasion?

I would say a bright and glossy tarte au citron or a fat juicy quiche.

How did you find it in the Tent, walking in on that first morning?

Seeing and entering the tent was like I was in somebody else’s world, totally wonderful and exciting.

Which Judge did you want to impress the most and did you find Sandi and Noel a boost to get you through?

I think Paul as he is a bit of a tough nut to crack and I wanted the challenge of trying to. Prue was lovely and Sandi and Noel were both hilarious and I had a great time with them, that helped such a lot.

How will you watch the first episode - who will you be with and will you have made a cake to eat with it?

I intend to watch the first episode at home with my nearest and dearest, with a small selection of delicious bakes.

Sweet or savoury – what is your preference and why?

Always been savoury, well I do love both but savoury, who knows why?? I don’t!

Favourite bake to make… and what would be your Desert Island Dish?

Favourite bake (at the time being, it does change) my Beef Bourguignon Pie, Desert Island would have to be one of my Rich Fruit Christmas cakes, a massive one maybe several tiers so it would keep us going and not go off while we wait to be rescued

Did you imagine you would ever be on TV? Are you looking forward to - or fearing - seeing yourself on television?

I never imagined. I may come over well, I may not, but what’s to fear, I did what I did, cannot change it, it’s just some fun, it’s kind and it’s baking at the end of the day, I am me and I go with the flow.

KIM-JOY: From Leeds, age 27, a mental health specialist:

Who encouraged you to fill out the application form to be on The Great British Bake Off?

My partner Nabil encouraged me to fill out the application form - he really believes in me and felt like I had a good chance of getting on! I told him he had his head in the clouds and there wasn’t a chance!

What age or time in your life did you start baking and who has inspired you?

There isn’t any specific person who inspired me to start baking. When I was a child I used to have to make mince pies at Christmas, and I hated mince pies. But everyone else raved about them! So I started realising that baking was a way for me to fit in and to make people like me, and essentially that is what we all want! I started baking a bit more regularly in my last year of University which was 2012, but it became more of a serious hobby about three or so years ago.

What is your signature bake that the family or friends love or expect for a special occasion?

For special occasions I like to always create something new! I’m not really a fan of making the same thing twice unless I’m tweaking it in some way, because I always want to learn and try new things. However, I do regularly make bread, and my partner occasionally buys mozzarella in order to tempt me in to making pizza for dinner. Occasionally he succeeds.

How did you find it in the Tent, walking in on that first morning?

Walking into the tent on that first morning was TERRIFYING! It was a dream-like experience. Standing in the tent that I’d seen so many times on TV before felt unreal. When I stood behind my allocated bench I felt like pinching myself. When Paul and Prue came in my mind was blown because I knew that a dream had somehow become a reality!

Which Judge did you want to impress the most and did you find Sandi and Noel a boost to get you through?

I wanted to impress Prue because I love her colourful sense of fashion - her choice in clothes makes me think she definitely has to have good taste in baking! And of course l also wanted to impress Paul because he really knows his stuff, especially when it comes to bread! Sandi and Noel were both AMAZING - Sandi is so warm, quick witted and clearly very intelligent; and Noel just comes by and sees the amusement in the smallest of things.

How will you watch the first episode - who will you be with and will you have made a cake to eat with it?

I will probably bake something to eat whilst watching the show, but I won’t be making the signature again - I’d want to make something new instead! I’d be tempted to make the showstopper again but do a completely different take on it, or maybe a miniature version. I love miniature things! I’d watch the show with Nabil and my friends who live nearby - but I’ll also video call my friends who live a bit further away!

Sweet or savoury – what is your preference and why?

I used to have a massive sweet tooth, but now I am actually more of a savoury person! I love making cakes and enjoy eating a slice. But a loaf of bread with some butter or olive oil? That’s easy pickings.

Favourite bake to make… and what would be your Desert Island Dish?

Oooooh I don’t know if I have a favourite bake to make. I just love to make and learn new stuff all the time. I’ve realised that I enjoy baking the most when it’s relaxing. So that’s why I enjoy both bread, as well as decorating and doing intricate details. Both are relaxing in their own ways. My desert island dish would be some fresh doughnuts, filled with delicious creme pat.

Did you imagine you would ever be on TV? Are you looking forward to - or fearing - seeing yourself on television?

I will probably be watching the first episode Bake Off with my hands over my face 90 per cent of the time - like a horror movie! Thinking things like, ‘Why did I say that?? How did I forget to do that??”

LUKE:From Sheffield, age 30, a civil servant and house/techno DJ:

Who encouraged you to fill out the application form to be on The Great British Bake Off?

I have to confess I only watched the show for the first time in 2016 after years of my good friend Dan telling me to watch GBBO, as he knew I loved baking and would love the show if I gave it a chance…and how right he was! So after watching Candice win in 2016 and becoming an avid fan of GBBO, I thought to myself how incredible an experience and challenge it would be to bake in the tent so went ahead and submitted an application form - never actually expecting to ever get on the show though!

What age or time in your life did you start baking and who has inspired you?

My nan literally bakes every day (not even joking) so she has been a massive inspiration. She’s fantastic! Some of my earliest memories are of baking at my nan’s house when I would stay over on a weekend. I would stand on a small step-ladder so I could reach the work surface to ‘help’ her bake scones, buns etc. I’ve always been a massive fan of Jamie Oliver too and when I was a teenager he inspired me to get in the kitchen and I vividly remember wanting to be just like him! His style of cooking has certainly influenced mine.

What is your signature bake that the family or friends love or expect for a special occasion?

My friends and family love it when I make my Goat’s cheese, olive and pesto pinwheel bread which I make for special occasions. It’s beautiful to eat warm, straight from the oven or left to cool and dipped into a lovely homemade hummus. It’s a tear and share bread so perfect for get togethers and always goes down a treat.

How did you find it in the Tent, walking in on that first morning?

I had to keep pinching myself; I couldn’t get my head around that I was in the tent and going to be on the show and that Paul and Prue would be tasting something that I had actually baked! It was much hotter than I thought it was going to be in the tent, there were a lot more people in there than I expected, and it was just crazy to think I was really in there as one of the bakers. It took me a while to get my head around it but I was so excited. I also was actually looking forward to doing a technical challenge too.

Which Judge did you want to impress the most and did you find Sandi and Noel a boost to get you through?

I wanted to impress both judges to be honest. I was literally petrified the first time Paul and Prue tried my first bake in the tent as I was so desperate to impress them. Sandi and Noel are just great; when you’re starting to feel the pressure they come along, give you a pep talk, crack a joke and make you feel so much more relaxed. They’re soooo funny and lovely too!

How will you watch the first episode - who will you be with and will you have made a cake to eat with it?

We’ll have a big party at my house with my friends and family! There will be lots of food on offer. All of us bakers are in a group chat on WhatsApp too, so I’m sure we’ll all be texting each other like crazy whilst the show is on (even more than we usually do) to give each other support.

Sweet or savoury – what is your preference and why?

Oh this is a tough one as it depends what mood I’m in. I’m going to say something savoury to eat first, followed by something sweet! But if you’re really going to push me to pick one I’d probably pick sweet, particularly if it involves chocolate!!

Favourite bake to make… and what would be your Desert Island Dish?

I absolutely love making bread – all types of bread. I find it amazing how you can take such simple ingredients like flour and yeast and mix them together to create something so tasty and delicious. It’s so versatile too – you can make it sweet, savoury, add flavours, shape it different ways…the options are endless. I honestly don’t think you can beat having beautiful fresh bread with a selection of good quality oils, balsamic vinegars and dips. Delicious.

Did you imagine you would ever be on TV? Are you looking forward to - or fearing - seeing yourself on television?

Never in a million years did I think I would be on TV! When I applied for GBBO, I sent the application off thinking it would get lost in the other thousands of applications which they receive and thought I’d never hear anything back. Next thing, I kept getting further into the audition process and then a couple of months later I was at work when I got the call saying I was on the show! I went into a meeting room at work when I took the call and when they said I was on the show I thought they must have dialled the wrong person as things like this don’t happen to me! I can usually talk for England but this was one occasion I was lost for words! I then had to walk back out into the office acting all normal like it was just any other phone call and carry on working, when all I wanted to do was just walk out with the biggest smile on my face and tell everyone what had just happened! I’m absolutely dreading seeing myself on TV, I’ll be so embarrassed. I just hope everyone watching at home can understand my heavy Yorkshire accent – wouldn’t surprise me if there’s subtitles on the screen whenever I talk haha!

MANON:

Who encouraged you to fill out the application form to be on The Great British Bake Off?

It is something that me and my best friends always talked about and laughed about! So they didn’t have to push me to fill out the application, but they were a big part of me applying seriously.

What age or time in your life did you start baking and who has inspired you?

I grew up in a family where food is E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G so from a very young age me and my sister would always help mum or grandmas preparing the food and also desserts. But I seriously got into baking when I came to the UK where I fell in love with cake decorating and cupcakes.

What is your signature bake that the family or friends love or expect for a special occasion?

It is hard to tell because it has changed! Before I came to the UK, I was the queen of Tiramisu and Tarte Tatin, and then now it will be hard to select, but I would say probably tiered cake.

How did you find it in the Tent, walking in on that first morning?

Walking to the tent the first time was surreal and I think I didn’t really realise what was happening! The start of the first ever challenge was the most challenging for me as I felt like I was going to pass out from stress!

Which Judge did you want to impress the most and did you find Sandi and Noel a boost to get you through?

I think both Prue and Paul have their specialities and they really balance each other. But for me the most important thing was baking something that I was proud of, and the dedicated person that this bake was for, would love it. Sandi and Noel were such an amazing support! They really were always there for us either to have a chat or give us pep talks when it is needed!

How will you watch the first episode - who will you be with and will you have made a cake to eat with it?

There will definitely be a lot of friends, a lot of people that have eaten my cakes before, a lot of laughs and surely some food and refreshments!

Sweet or savoury – what is your preference and why?

Probably sweet as I always have a second stomach for pudding! But bread and butter would always be my top craving when I am hungry!

Favourite bake to make… and what would be your Desert Island Dish?

This is HARD! I will say that my favourite thing is to work with icing, so anything that involves icing ( cake, patisserie). For my Desert Island Dish it has to be Poke [Hawaiian dish of raw fish, avocado and veg], it is really good for you. Because it has a lot of nutrients it should keep me alive for a long time!

Did you imagine you would ever be on TV? Are you looking forward to - or fearing - seeing yourself on television?

Never imagined to be on Bake Off no (dreamt about it though) ! I have memories of five years ago watching the show with my best friend and just thinking “imagine being on it one day...” And I don’t really fear seeing myself and I think I will laugh at so many stupid things I might have said!

RAHUL:

Who encouraged you to fill out the application form to be on The Great British Bake Off?

One of my colleagues kind of pushed me to apply for bake off. He kept sending me the application link, till I said to him that I have started applying.

What age or time in your life did you start baking and who has inspired you?

Cooking programmes always interests me. Even as a child, rather than watching sports, I enjoyed watching cookery shows. I started cooking and experimenting with food from the age of 15, however, proper everyday cooking started since I moved to UK about seven years ago. I never baked when I was in India. My baking journey began in the UK about five years ago when I was feeling lonely, and needed to do something along with my studies. At that time, it was limited to making bread and biscuits. The first cake I made was about two years ago, when my parents visited the UK for the first time.

What is your signature bake that the family or friends love or expect for a special occasion?

I like the simple classics, sometimes with a little twist in it. My colleagues love my lemon drizzle cake and its cousins like lemon and cardamom drizzle cake, or lemon and elderflower drizzle cake - they like them a lot.

How did you find it in the Tent, walking in on that first morning?

I was so nervous that first morning. I made sure the first time I climbed down the steps towards the tent that I did it right! It was so surreal to be in the tent, and it still feels like a dream to me. Almost as if I was watching Bake Off 2018 (you can never see yourself in dream, so it kind of made sense).

Which Judge did you want to impress the most and did you find Sandi and Noel a boost to get you through?

I don’t think I wanted to impress any one of them over the other particularly. I just wanted to try my best and have their valuable opinion to improve my bakes in the future. Sandi and Noel are amazing. They came around and made us smile and lighten the environment, which is very important.

How will you watch the first episode - who will you be with and will you have made a cake to eat with it?

I am not sure yet. I would love to watch with my family. However, my family being in India, it is difficult. If my parents can come over, that will be nice to watch it with them and a close circle of colleagues.

Sweet or savoury – what is your preference and why?

Savoury for sure. Even last night I had a piece of lemon drizzle cake, but then felt like I need to have something else. So had a bit of leftover curry.

Favourite bake to make… and what would be your Desert Island Dish?

Favourite cake to make would either be a Victoria sponge with jam, cream and berries or lemon drizzle cake with lemon curd and fresh cream. I think to keep me alive in a deserted island .... I would bake some hearty biscuits with dried fruit, nuts and seeds in them. It will be something like Scottish bannock biscuits as they are tasty, stay fresh longer and easy to carry a lot in small space.

Did you imagine you would ever be on TV? Are you looking forward to - or fearing - seeing yourself on television?

Never really thought about it. I am very nervous and to some extent scared as well of watching myself on TV. It will feel like watching my dream with me in it.

RUBY:

Who encouraged you to fill out the application form to be on The Great British Bake Off?

This was the second year I applied for Bake Off. I remember the first year I was super new to baking and it was Christmas. I had just used all the leftovers to make a pie and my family were convinced I would be good enough (even after just a few months!) to give it a shot. They were not taking no for an answer! Luckily, I didn’t make it further than the phone interview as I just definitely wasn’t ready or had enough experience so the timing wasn’t right and you know what they say – try, try and try again until you succeed!

What age or time in your life did you start baking and who has inspired you?

I have always been such a huge foodie, always been a girl with a huge appetite but I only really caught the baking bug around the end of 2016. I remember making a black forest cake and looking around at the kitchen which looked like a total bomb site but this gorgeous cake sitting amongst the mess and it didn’t look too shabby! Tasted divine and even better was the fact I had loved every hour, every minute and second I had poured into making it. Can’t say anyone in particular inspired me – I don’t have that heart warming story where I have been baking with my nan since I was young. I have always just been inspired by bringing people together with food and the happiness people have when eating.

What is your signature bake that the family or friends love or expect for a special occasion?

I love making cakes almost as much as I love eating them and I can guarantee my family always expect me to deliver a delicious cake whatever the occasion is! My sister and cousin are particularly in love with my chocolate orange cake – deliciously fluffy orange sponge, drenched in orange liqueur with a layer of homemade hazelnut and chocolate spread and sandwiched together with a chocolate and hazelnut whipped mascarpone cream, topped with a chocolate ganache.

How did you find it in the Tent, walking in on that first morning?

Wow – I mean what a dream!! I honestly couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be part of the final 12 and get into THE tent. That tent has become pretty iconic over the past few years; it has made and broken so many dreams in the past so it was hugely daunting and crazily exciting all at the same time!

Which Judge did you want to impress the most and did you find Sandi and Noel a boost to get you through?

Let’s be honest – Paul hasn’t smiled since like 1983 so he wasn’t on my radar to impress ha ha! I really wanted to impress Prue though, I have admired her for a long time and watched her on the Great British Menu for years so was super keen, possibly borderline needy ha ha. Sandi and Noel, honestly couldn’t say enough about how amazing they were in the tent. Sandi was deffo my tent mumma and has this reassuring aura about her which was great and Noel was hilariously brilliant. He is totally bonkers and I loved that – he helped remind me to have fun with it all and was oddly a calming influence.

How will you watch the first episode - who will you be with and will you have made a cake to eat with it? Some Bakers in previous series have made the signature challenge each week for example.

First epsiode will definitely be with close family so a big family affair with masses of food and drink.

Sweet or savoury – what is your preference and why?

Don’t make me choose! I mean what a tough choice – definitely savoury I think. But then what about cake?! My trouble is, I always need something sweet to finish off a savoury meal – if I go for dinner and its only two courses, I will make sure I get a main and dessert and make the other person get a starter and main. This way, I get the best of both worlds - clever or just greedy? I can’t decide.

Favourite bake to make… and what would be your Desert Island Dish?

Aside from cake, I absolutely love making bread. Something so satisfying and rewarding from spending hours on mixing, kneading, proving, shaping, proving and finally baking (fully aware I sound like I have no life but carbs are life)! I love the smell of freshly baked bread, the flat smells glorious! Plus I love sandwiches beyond comprehension (I mean why wouldn’t you? Everything and anything can go into a sandwich!) . I could easily live off leftover Christmas dinner sandwiches drenched in homemade gravy for the rest of my life!

Did you imagine you would ever be on TV? Are you looking forward to - or fearing - seeing yourself on television?

Never in my life did I think I would be on TV and honestly I am DREADING seeing myself on TV. Will definitely be watching it from behind a cushion so I can bury my head in shame! As much as the cameras are there filming your every move, I got comfortable with the filming set up pretty quick. Probably far too comfortable! You always forget that people will eventually be watching you.

TERRY:

Who encouraged you to fill out the application form to be on The Great British Bake Off?

My youngest daughter did the application for me, filled it in and sent it in. And then of course I had to do it. I was very pleased that she did it, and totally amazed when I heard back that I was in. It was a shock, but a nice shock.

What age or time in your life did you start baking and who has inspired you?

I have always baked as long as I can remember. I spent a lot of time in my nan’s kitchen who made fresh bread and cakes every day. My mum and my dad baked, so everyone I have known has baked. It’s been a constant in my life. We make bread and cakes and don’t buy them!

What is your signature bake that the family or friends love or expect for a special occasion?

I make a double chocolate and cherry gateaux with amaretti and that’s a firm family favourite.

How did you find it in the Tent, walking in on that first morning?

The whole experience of that first walk in was it for me. It was a totally surreal and enjoyable experience. That first memory will stick with me the most.

Which Judge did you want to impress the most and did you find Sandi and Noel a boost to get you through?

I have used Paul’s recipes for so long and have always admired him. Paul has always been up there for me as a baker, so I did probably want to impress him the most, and of course Prue is brilliant at what she does. Sandi is such a lovely person, and Noel is so funny, but above all they are very caring and compassionate.

How will you watch the first episode - who will you be with and will you have made a cake to eat with it?

Both my daughters live a distance away, but the family are great Bake Off watchers, so I think we are hoping for a night at my house.

Sweet or savoury – what is your preference and why?

I do like both the same to make, but to eat then sweet is my favourite.

Favourite bake to make… and what would be your Desert Island Dish?

My favourite bake to make is a rich Game Pie made from pheasant, duck or venison as a winter warmer pie. If I was stuck on a Desert Island I would want something to cheer me up like Tipsy Tart which would have lots of brandy so it would keep it preserved and keep me going.

Did you imagine you would ever be on TV? Are you looking forward to - or fearing - seeing yourself on television?

I never imagined I would ever be on television and I am not really looking forward to seeing myself. I have a motor home, I might just escape somewhere!

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Norwich Evening News daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the Evening News
digital edition

Subscribe

Show Job Lists