Great British Bake Off's Terry Hartill's secret heartache after losing wife to cancer

Baker Terry

Great British Bake Off's Terry Hartill has been hiding a secret heartache.

Terry is a 56-year-old Retired Air Steward from West Midlands and one of the bakers on this year's GBBO.

Terry’s background as a prosthetic technician, as well as spoils from his own microbrewery and allotment, are all evident in his baking – particularly in the precision, science and flavour of his creations. The design and craftsmanship in Terry’s bakes are a testament to his background in fine art. However, it is family that lies at the heart of Terry’s baking journey.

Sadly, Terry's decision to take part in the show stems from tragedy after his wife Joanna passed away from cancer.

His mother-in-law Marion said: “I really hope he wins and my daughter would want that too.

“She would love that he’s in the show. She would be very, very proud of him.”

Terry's wife passed away in April of last year after a 10-month fight with cancer. She left behind Terry and their two daughters.

“They had been such a happy couple and married for so long and when we lost her. Terry was heartbroken,” Marion told the Daily Mirror newspaper. “But the show is something nice for him to do and it’s helping him cope with his grief.”

She added: “Jo never liked baking, that was his job, but she loved eating his cakes. He’ll be cooking his heart out for her.”

And Marion confessed that Terry had kept his appearance on the Bake Off a secret right up until launch night.

She said: “I hadn’t got a clue then I looked at a picture in the paper and thought ‘I know that man!’ He didn’t tell any of us.

“It’s wonderful news for our family after all the heartache. He’ll be doing everything he can to stay in it until the end.”

The Great British Bake Off 2018 airs Wednesday nights at 8PM on Channel 4.

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