The evenings are getting darker earlier, the thermostat is firmly on high, and you’re telling anyone who will listen that it’ll be Christmas before we know it. Yes, it’s autumn, which means that TV normality has been restored and the treat that is Great British Bake Off is back on our screens!
Each year brings a whole new roster of amateur bakers ready to face the steely gaze of Paul Hollywood and the no-nonsense wrath of Prue Leith. The Bake Off Class of 2018 are primped and ready to hit our screens on Tuesday night, so let’s get the lowdown on this delectable dozen…
Terry, 56 – retired air steward
Terry’s talent in the kitchen is in the genes – he learned to bake through his grandmother, while his dad taught him how to bake bread and make pastry when he was 10 years old. Knowing his way around a rolling pin will surely place Terry in good stead with king of bread Paul Hollywood
His background could make for some very interesting recipes: he has experience as a prosthetic technician and has prowess in microbrewing and gardening. Four-dimensional ale and beetroot cake, anyone?
Briony, 33 – full-time parent
Self-taught baker Briony was inspired by her grandma to become a baker, and used YouTube videos to hone her craft. Describing the kind of illusion cake she would make, Briony detailed an impressive vision of a decorative vase boasting a bouquet of flowers with 12 red roses, made from fondant and buttercream. It is fair to say that this baker will not do things by halves.
Jon, 47 – blood courier
Experimental with his creations, Jon should certainly feel right at home in the Bake Off tent, where thinking outside the cake box is rewarded. For Jon, meeting time constraints is in his DNA, so he will appreciate the urgency to GET THAT OVEN ON. Let’s hope he is just the judges’ type.
Imelda, 33 – Countryside Recreation Officer
Northern Irish Imelda learned to bake from her mother, and now treats her father and son to homemade soda bread and biscuits. Describing her kitchen as “the heart of the house”, Imelda looks set to bring a sprinkling of kindness and sentiment to the tent.
Dan, 36 – full-time parent
Londoner Dan is taking the opportunity of his youngest child starting school to do something for himself, and what better personal test than the Great British Bake Off? After looking after his children for the last six years, Dan is bound to have some carefully-crafted and creative baking skills up his sleeve.
Karen, 60 – in-store sampling assistant
60-year-old Karen’s obsession with baking began when she was living in France with her husband. Inspired by the local French patisserie, Karen has brought her knowledge of indulgent pastries to her current home of West Yorkshire, where she whips up profiteroles and foot-long eclairs.
Antony, 30 – banker
Banker Antony has plenty of experience handling vast amounts of dough, so he should feel at ease in the Bake Off tent. Having grew up in India, Antony can be expected to indulge us with intricate creations laced with rich spices. His friends back home know him as more of a choir singer than a baking wizard, so here’s hoping he hits the right notes with the culinary challenges.
Kim-Joy, 27 – Mental Health specialist
Kim-Joy’s eclectic baking style is as impressive as her varied background. Born in Belgium to an English father and Malaysian-Chinese mother, raised in London and now living in Leeds with her partner, Kim-Joy’s true passion is bread, which should see her safe in Mr Hollywood’s tricky technical challenges.
Luke, 30 – Civil Servant and house/techno DJ
Luke prefers a relaxed environment to bake in, so the tense atmosphere of the tent will test his patience as he will need to race against the clock without his dog Oscar by his side for moral support (and essential taste-testing). If his day-to-night personality switch is anything to go by, Luke will surely have some vibrant surprises hiding beneath the uniformity of measured baking…
Manon, 33 – Software Project Manager
A common theme among many of this year’s contestants is that of inter-generational lessons. Manon is no different – her love for baking stems from her mother and grandmother. Born and raised in France and now living in London, Manon’s inspiration to bake came from the capital’s style and variety. It was moving to Britain that introduced her to the Great British Bake Off, as it was one of the first shows she watched with her best friend after touching down in her new home.
Rahul, 30 – Research Scientist
Meticulous, attentive, and detail-focused, scientist Rahul often plans big bakes throughout the week and creates something incredible at the weekend. This kind of preparation will go down well when he has Noel Fielding screeching countdowns in the tent.
Ruby, 29 – Project Manager
Ruby’s love of baking emerged when she assumed the role of household ‘mother’ at university, cooking for her seven male housemates. Somehow, looking after a group of lads didn’t make Ruby despise the kitchen and she has used this experience to get to the Bake Off tent.
This year’s contestants have a lot of live up to – will they rise to the occasion? Tune into Channel 4 from Tuesday 28th August to find out.
Who are you backing as this year’s Great British Bake Off winner? Let us know on Twitter! @KettleMag