Who is Saku on The Great British Bake Off 2023?
The hugely popular Great British Bake Off is set to return with a 14th series on Tuesday, September 26.
Launching at 8:00pm on Channel 4, it will see 12 amateur but passionate bakers battling it out in a desperate bid to win Paul Hollywood’s praise and become winner.
But this year’s series comes with a twist – series 14 will see popular TV personality Alison Hammond of ITV’s Good Morning fame join the star-studded cast which includes Paul Hollywood.
Presenters have taken it upon themselves to learn British Sign Language – as the show welcomes its first ever deaf contestant.
Now, MailOnline takes a look at one of this year’s new contestants.
Who is Bake Off 2023’s Saku?
Tongue tingling: Sri Lankan-born Intelligence Analysis Saku places the traditional flavours of her heritage at the heart of her baking
The lineup: Launching at 8:00pm on Channel 4 on Tuesday 26 September, Great British Bake Off will see 12 amateur but passionate bakers battling it out in a desperate bid to win
Saku is an intelligence analyst based in Herefordshire although the 50-year-old was born and raised in Sri Lanka – and makes to place the traditional flavours of her heritage at the heart of her baking.
She claims the native curry spices make for the best pie fillings while liberal sprinklings of cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg find their way into her sweeter bakes.
At her family home back in Sri Lanka, Saku didn’t have an oven until she was 18 – but she was introduced to baking when she moved to the UK with her husband 20 years ago.
She also took inspiration from British supermarkets when she became a first-time mum – rustling up treats for her children’s lunchboxes after replicating the snacks.
Self-taught, she is now a pro with a whisk and relishes using her homegrown ingredients from her pride and joy – her vegetable patch.
Why is Alison Hammond joining the star-studded cast?
Fans were treated to a first look of The Great British Bake Off last month as new host Alison Hammond joined the tent alongside Noel Fielding.
It was confirmed earlier this year that the This Morning presenter, 48, would be replacing Little Britain’s Matt Lucas, 49, on the beloved Channel 4 programme following his departure.
It comes after new Great British Bake Off co-host Alison revealed that not a single slice of cake was involved in her audition for the role.
To see whether she was good enough for the job, Alison was asked by producers to chat with strangers at a garden centre, with no sweet treats in sight.
Shedding light on her audition, she shared: ‘They made me interview random strangers, to obviously see if I’m good with different people. It was a weird audition’.
New role: Fans were treated to a first look of The Great British Bake Off last month as new host Alison Hammond joined the tent alongside Noel Fielding (pictured with Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith)