Channel 4 have unveiled the 13 home-bakers competing in the tenth season of The Great British Bake Off, due to hit screens next week.
And, to be expected, the competitors are a diverse group of amateur bakers including a geography teacher, a fashion designer, a HGV driver and vet.
This year’s eagerly awaited series is championing younger cake makers as the line-up is made up of seven people in their 20’s, while the oldest contestant is 56, and the average age inside the tent is 31.
Geography teacher Alice, 28, took up baking at the age of 15 when a back operation for scoliosis left her unable to do sport.
After moving to New Zealand in her 20s she attended art school and then returned to the UK to live in London. Alice often merges her love for baking with her passion for teaching and uses her cakes in lessons to demonstrate natural activities such as coastal erosion and volcanic activity.
Pictured: This year’s contestant’s – (rear left to right) Steph, Henry, Priya, Helena, Alice, Phil, and Rosie, (front left to right) Amelia, David, Michelle, Michael, Dan and Jamie
Mixing it up: Channel 4 have unveiled the 13 home-bakers competing in the tenth season of The Great British Bake Off, due to hit screens next week
Revealing her dream to appear on Bake Off began in 2010, she said: ‘I have wanted to be in Bake Off ever since the show has started, but I wasn’t really good enough when I was 18. To be on such a big show doing something that you are passionate about is a huge thing.
‘I also felt that to be accepted into the tent gave me the confidence to feel that I could bake. It was a dream come true!’
Likewise to Alice, fashion designer Amelia, 24, has also wanted to star on the show since it first aired. The Halifax native, has been baking since the age of five, when she watched her mother and grandmother make beautiful cake decorations.
Although now living in London, the sports-wear designer still draws on her northern roots in her baking and firmly believes that freshly farmed produce is essential for a good bake.
Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding will return with Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith for this year’s series of Bake Off as the new contestants are revealed
HGV driver Phil, 56, who lives in Rainham, East London, with his wife and two daughters shared that his long-terms friend will be shocked and surprised he is on the series.
Despite baking four to five times a week, he told: ‘They had been staying with us recently and said “you make such wonderful cakes”, but have never mentioned to me that I should go on Bake Off, so I think they haven’t a clue that I would be in it.’
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One of the thirteen hopefuls will be taking home the desirable title of Bake Off champion, won last year by Rahul Mandal, who, in a show first, was given fifteen extra minutes to complete his final bake in the 2018 final after a glass storage jar shattered on his worktop after being hit by a beam of sunlight.
Somerset-based veterinary surgeon Rosie, 28, uses baking to wind down from her stressful job and often bakes through the night to keep the nurses at her surgery well-fed.
He favourite bake is a box of mixed pastries and she is inspired by her rural surroundings, from the orchards next to her house to the eggs laid by her ducks and chickens.
Joining them will be Steph, 28, a shop assistant from Chester, who enjoys creating healthy bakes with added fruits and vegetables, Priya, a 34-year-old marketing consultant from Leicester who is a self-professed perfectionist and lover of baking late into the night, and print shop administrator Michelle, 35, from Tenby in Wales, who bakes almost every other day and enjoys experimenting with flavours.
Hopefuls: This year’s aspiring bakers will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Sophie Faldo, Nadiya Hussain, Candice Brown and Nancy Birtwhistle
Cut from the same cookie dough: This year’s eagerly awaited series is championing younger cake makers as the line-up is made up of seven people in their 20’s, while the oldest contestant is 56, and the average age inside the tent is 31
They’re back: The series – which usually sees only 12 hopefuls hit the tent to showcase their culinary skills – will be hosted by fan favourites Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig and judged by Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith
Also in the tent will be theatre manager and fitness instructor Michael, 26, from Stratford-upon-Avon, who is inspired by the flavours of his Indian heritage, and 20-year-old part-time waiter and sports science student Jamie from Surrey, who likes the challenge of a technical bake such as a croquembouche.
Helena, a 40-year-old online project manager from Leeds, focuses on using American flavours as well as those from her Spanish heritage in her baking, while international health adviser David, 36, who lives in London but comes from Yorkshire, is fond of robust flavours and solid bakes, rather than fancy, colourful decorations.
The line-up is completed by support worker Dan, 32, from Rotherham, who is largely self-taught in the kitchen and made his own wedding cake, and 20-year-old English literature Durham University student Henry, who tests out his culinary skills and carefully combined flavours on his house mates.
GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF 2019: WHO ARE THE CONTESTANTS?
Piece of cake: Geography teacher Alice uses her baking creations to to demonstrate natural events to her student
Sew in love with baking: Amelia is a sportswear designer who worked on her baking skills when she was at university
Occupation: Geography teacher
Why Bake Off? Alice started baking at the age of 15 when a back operation for scoliosis left her unable to do sport.
She now uses her cakes in her lessons, demonstrating natural events such as coastal erosion and volcanic activity with her edible creations.
She said: ‘To be on such a big show doing something that you are passionate about is a huge thing.
‘I also felt that to be accepted into the tent gave me the confidence to feel that I could bake.
‘It was a dream come true!’
She enjoys trips abroad, and is clearly making the most of her summer break from school as her Instagram feed is packed with pictures of her on holiday.
Occupation: Fashion designer
Why Bake Off? Born to a Caribbean father and a half-British/half-Polish mother, Amelia honed her baking skills while at university, baking for friends and college fundraising events.
She currently lives in London and works as a sportswear designer.
She has uploaded snaps of her attending a dance music festival near Leipzig in Germany, enjoying the sunshine in a London park and images of some of her bakes.
Five weeks ago she posted a photo of pink flamingo cake, and a friend wrote: ‘Get her on the bake off!#justiceforamelia. She replied: ‘Hahaha you make me laugh.’
She said: ‘I have wanted to get into the tent since series one, it’s still not sunk in, but it’s a dream come true.’
The early bird catches the worm: Working early shifts gives Phil plenty of time to practice his baking
Occupation: HGV driver
Why Bake Off? Working early shifts as a driver means he is able to spend the rest of his day cooking for his wife and two daughters as well as baking treats for his motorcycle meetings with friends.
Phil, who lives in Rainham, east London, regularly bakes four to five times a week, creating an array of breads including focaccia and brioche.
He said that he has ‘yearned’ to be on Bake Off for years and that a couple who are long-term friends of his will be very surprised he is in the series.
‘They had been staying with us recently and said ‘you make such wonderful cakes’, but have never mentioned to me that I should go on Bake Off, so I think they haven’t a clue that I would be in it.’
The way to a person’s heart is through their stomach: Dan became serious about baking a while trying to impress his no wife, Laura
Occupation: Support worker
Why Bake Off? Dan became serious about baking at the age of 21 while trying to impress his girlfriend Laura, who is now his wife, with a themed birthday cake. Dan, who lives with Laura and their three dogs, even made their wedding cake
The 32-year-old tattooed amateur baker, who made his own wedding cake, he has uploaded images on his Instagram of holidays to the US and Venice.
On his Twitter feed this morning, he simply wrote: ‘Dreaming’ after it was unveiled he would be taking part in the show.
Speaking about signing up for Bake Off 2019 Dan said: ‘I have been trying for a few years now, so finally I am here. It’s absolutely crazy, really amazing, I was so adamant to get on, it’s very hard to describe the feelings, all strange and surreal.
‘And then when you are in the tent it all feels normal pretty quickly.’
Mediterranean inspiration: Helena’s Spanish roots will play a big role in her bakes
Occupation: Online project manager
Why Bake Off? Helena’s introduction to baking came at a young age as she watched her Spanish grandmother in the kitchen, but it was moving to Las Vegas and living with a Mormon family for a school exchange trip that prompted her to start baking herself.
Helena, from Leeds, has her own costume jewellery shop.
With links posted on her social media accounts, Candy Candy says on its website that it is ‘highly influenced by vintage and antique treasures with an added spooky touch.’
The website adds: ‘Helena’s interest in fashion dates back to her childhood when she would create her own accessories, favouring them to the traditional jewellrey available in shops.’
She said: ‘I won a baking competition at work and that gave me the confidence to apply. Although when I learned that I had got in I had a bit of a confidence crisis thinking, can I possibly be good enough?’
On a roll: Jamie was inspired to make a plaited loaf following watching Bake Off
Occupation: Part-time waiter
Why Bake-off? Jamie, from Surrey, who is an identical twin, was taught the basics by his grandmother and his parents, but it was after watching an episode of Bake Off and being inspired to make a plaited loaf that really saw his baking passion take hold.
On his Instagram account has several shots of him posing in front of the camera on social media.
One friend wrote: ‘Let me borrow those biceps,’ and another said: ‘Go on son give me some more muscles.’
On his Twitter account, which looks like it has been recently created, he posted a photo of his fellow contestants and wrote: ‘Absolutely mental I still can’t believe it!’
He said: ‘When they called to tell me it was a real shock, I really wasn’t expecting it at all. But a nice shock. All my mates don’t even know that I bake so they will get a shock to see me in an apron!’
Home grown: David’s mum refused to buy bread from the shop when he was younger leading to him being inspired to bake
Occupation: International health adviser
Why Bake Off? Having grown up in rural Yorkshire with a mother who would always bake and refuse to buy a loaf from the shops, Dan was inspired to bake as a child.
He became further interested in the art of baking after travelling to where he learnt to build an oven out of an oil drum.
The keen cyclist and fitness fanatic, said: ‘I have watched Bake Off from the start, and I have daydreamed so many times walking to work about being in it for such a long time.
‘And when I got accepted it was such a mixture of emotions.
‘You feel like royalty walking into the tent, you have a runner looking after you, bringing you drinks.
‘It’s very different to ordinary life, and a fantastic experience.’
Hollywood fan: Henry became interested in baking after seeing Paul Hollywood on the way to school
Why Bake Off? Henry became interested in all things culinary and baking at the age of 12, as he was intrigued by the Bake Off tent at the end of his road, he shared: ‘I used to see Paul Hollywood when I walked past the tent to go to school in the mornings.’
Like many of the other contestants, his Instagram feed is littered with pictures of his bakes, and images of him on his travels, with visits to New York and Paris.
In one image, posted nearly five years ago, he poses with former presenter Sue Perkins.
He said: ‘I have wanted to get into the tent since series two. They filmed it at the end of my road, so I used to see Paul Hollywood when I walked past the tent to go to school in the mornings, so I really got into it.
‘To be inside the actual tent was totally wonderful.’
‘I told Paul that I remembered him filming at Valentine’s for series two and we had a chat about that and shared our memories of that time. So he knew I had come full circle and was now in the tent, and that was pretty special.’
Home is where the heart is: Michelle, who grew up on a farm, has been a lover of baking since she was a child
MICHELLE EVANS -FECCI
Occupation: Print shop administrator
Why Bake Off? Michelle, who grew up on a farm, has been a lover of baking since she was a child, watching her mother whip up traditional bakes.
She now bakes almost every other day, whether it is a loaf of bread or a dessert for her husband and teenage son.
She now lives in the seaside town of Tenby with her husband Ben and teenage son.
In a message to her husband on Instagram earlier this year she wrote: ‘Not my usual sort of post….not baking related for a change, but….Happy Valentines Day to my handsome, hardworking, funny, caring husband.’
‘My rock my world.’
Michelle and her husband have a printing business together. On the firm’s Instagram page, her husband wrote on their anniversary: ‘Happy Anniversary to the most thoughtful, caring, loving and just outright talented woman I know, my beautiful wife.
‘I just couldn’t have built our wonderful printing business up without her support through the years.’
Zen baker: Priya began baking as a way to de-stress and relax
Occupation: Marketing consultant
Why Bake Off? Priya started to take baking seriously 10 years ago as a means to relax.
A wedding present of a stand mixer seven years ago only boosted her passion even more, and she is known to toil for hours into the night baking bread.
The 34-year-old, from Leicester, has recently left her job working at a global technology company. In the last year she has signed up on a mentee scheme with publisher Penguin to write a book.
The Good Indian Girl’s Cooking School, work of fiction, is about a group of young British Asian women and their adventures at a cooking school.
Her Instagram also has a image of her in the Bake Off tent with the caption: ‘Yep. That’s me. You know, in the bake off tent wearing the bake off apron…!!! Chase those dreams folks because sometimes stuff like this happens.’
She said of her Bake Off experience: ‘I downloaded the application for Bake Off in 2012 the year I got married but I thought I would never get in.
‘I applied again last year, and then this year I got in and it was so dreamy and unreal. I was in no doubt it would change my life. And it taught me to pursue the things you love, and you just have to go for it.’
Mum’s the word: Michael was shown the baking ropes by his mum
Occupation: Theatre manager and fitness instructor
Why Bake Off? Michael was taught to bake by his mother using old, handwritten recipes passed down from her grandparents.
Born in Newcastle, he was raised in Scone in Scotland from the age of seven and later studied in Edinburgh, and he considers himself Scottish.
He has worked as a house manager for the Royal Shakespeare Company for just over three and a half years.
He has also acted in a short film spent 11 months as a Les Mills body pump and body combat instructor.
Photos of his baking creations delight his 453 followers, many of whom said he should be on the show.
Just three days ago, one friend said his cakes were ‘bake off standard’ while another said: ‘Please go on Bake Off.’
Night time baker: Vet Rosie likes to bake through the night after work
Occupation: Veterinary surgeon
Why Bake Off? Rosie’s passion for baking started when she was given a baking book at the age of five, and it has continued into her adult life.
When she is not treating sick animals, she can be found baking through the night to unwind.
She recently celebrated her four-year wedding anniversary with her husband Lewis.
She regularly posts pictures of her beloved dogs and trips away with friends.
The 28-year-old graduated from Cambridge University in 2015 and finds time to bake alongside her work as a veterinary surgeon.
She said: ‘The nurses at work are going to be so surprised, they will have no idea.
‘They asked me the other day would I apply again and I could honestly and categorically answer, no I don’t think I will!’
Taking the biscuit: Self -taught Steph took up baking after her grandfather inspired her
Occupation: Shop assistant
Why Bake Off? Steph took up baking when her grandfather inspired her thanks to his love of homemade bread.
Although it has long been a hobby of hers, she really became serious around three years ago and is largely self-taught.
The qualified personal trainer posts photos of her workouts on Instagram alongside healthy homemade dishes.
She is also a classic car and Formula One fan, often posting pictures from beside the race track, including the Silverstone and Monaco Grand Prix
Her mother Jane Blackwell co-founded SJB Classic Cars, a company which specialises in classic and vintage car servicing, repairs, maintenance, restoration and storage.
She said: ‘It’s a bit like a lottery, it wasn’t really joined up thinking, I didn’t think that I would get in, I wanted to give it a go.
‘It’s just beyond anything that I can imagine, because I didn’t really dream that I would get in, it has been the most incredible surreal experience.’
The series – which usually sees only 12 hopefuls hit the tent to showcase their culinary skills – will be hosted by fan favourites Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig and judged by Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith.
Sandi and Noel joined the baking show when it moved from BBC to Channel 4 in 2017, where they replaced Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, who had hosted the show for six years. Also deciding not to make the move to the channel was Mary Berry.
The new series of The Great British Bake Off will begin on Channel 4 on August 27 at 8pm.
- Do you know any of the GBBO 2019 contestants? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 3615 2221