Here are the contestants on the Great British Bake Off 2019 as the series arrives.
The Great British Bake Off airs on Channel 4 Tuesday evenings at 8PM with 13 bakers battling it out in 30 challenges over 10 weeks.
Judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith will set the tasks and will decide the star baker - plus which unlucky contestant is sent home - each week.
Also joining the tent for the third year are Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding, who will be with the bakers every step of the way, ready with a pertinent pep talk, a helpful hand or just a sympathetic shoulder to cry on…
The new series starts on Tuesday, August 27 at 9PM on Channel 4.
28-year-old Geography Teacher from London
Alice grew up in a riverside town in Essex. At 15 years old, while recovering from a back operation for scoliosis and no longer able to do sport, she turned her hand to baking – and perfected the fruit pavlova while she was living in New Zealand in her early 20s, where she also attended art school. After returning to the UK, she trained to be a Geography teacher. Now living in East London, she uses cakes in her lessons – demonstrating everything from coastal erosion to volcanic activity.
Alice says: "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!"
AMELIA LE BRUIN
24-year-old Fashion designer from Halifax
Amelia has been baking for 19 years – watching her mum and grandma creating beautiful cake decorations inspired her to start baking as a child. Born to a Caribbean father and British/half-Polish mother, Amelia grew up in Halifax and studied in Leeds and Leicester. She honed her baking skills while at university, baking for friends and college fundraising events. Now living in London and working as a sportswear designer, Amelia draws on her northern roots to inspire her baking and believes that freshly farmed produce is essential for a satisfying bake.
Amelia says: "I have wanted to get into the tent since series 1, it’s still not sunk in, but it’s a dream come true. It was all so much fun, meeting all the bakers, meeting the judges and presenters, there wasn’t one moment from that first week that I didn’t enjoy. It was magical."
32-year-old Support Worker from Rotherham
Dan is predominantly a self-taught baker, but has fond memories of his mum showing him how to bake a Victoria sponge as a child and his army chef dad coming to school to teach how to plait and bake bread. He got serious about baking at age 21 in a bid to impress his then girlfriend (now wife) with a themed birthday cake. Born in Worksop and raised in Rotherham, Dan lives just 20 minutes away from where he grew up, with wife Laura and their three dogs.
Dan says: "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."
36-year-old International Health Adviser from London
David grew up in rural Yorkshire, where his mum (who baked all the time – the family never ate a shop-bought loaf at home) inspired him to start baking. His passion was further developed by his travels to Malawi (among other places) with his work as a Health Advisor, where he learnt to build an oven out of an oil drum and invented a cake that could steam cook over a village fire. David studied art and design before switching to nursing.
David says: "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. Then I thought this is really crazy, am I good enough, will I have enough time to practice?"
40-year-old Online Project Manager from Leeds
Helena spent much of her childhood watching her Spanish grandmother cook and bake, but it was only after moving to Las Vegas as part of an exchange scheme at school and living with a Mormon family that Helena really started baking. She was born in Ceuta (an independent Spanish city in north Africa), raised in Lanzarote and studied in mainland Spain. During her degree she moved to Leeds on an exchange, where she now lives with her husband and baby daughter.
Helena says: "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? I was literally numb on the first day, I couldn’t take it all in, really. It was such a blur, and it hit me afterwards that I had made it into the Tent."
20-year-old student from Durham
Henry’s love of baking and all things culinary began at the age of 12, when he became fascinated by the baking activity taking place in the beautiful Bake Off tent which fortuitously pitched up in his local park. He began to experiment on his family, friends and teachers with a huge variety of bakes, developing a style of bake that is elegant and composed of delicate, carefully combined flavours. He now tests out his culinary skills on the discerning student palates of his university house mates at Durham University where he is studying English Literature.
Henry says: "I have wanted to get into the tent since series 2. 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."
20-year-old Part-time waiter from Surrey
Jamie’s grandma and parents taught him the baking basics, but it was after an episode of Bake Off inspired him to make a plaited loaf that his baking aspirations really took hold. Born and raised with his identical twin brother in Surrey, Jamie is working as a part-time waiter in the lead-up to studying Sports Science at university. He happily takes on more technically difficult bakes, such as a croquembouche and croissants and has a fairly traditional approach to his flavours – although he likes to experiment with what he can find in the house.
Jamie says: "When they called to tell me it was a real shock, I really wasn’t expecting it at all. But a nice shock! I was quite nervous at the beginning but by the second day the bakers had all gelled and we were all pretty much best mates, and it was great."
26-year-old Theatre manager/fitness instructor from Stratford-upon-Avon
Michael’s mother taught him to bake, encouraging him to learn from old, handwritten recipes passed down from his mother’s grandparents. He was born in Newcastle, but considers himself Scottish as he moved to Scone in Scotland at age seven and studied in Edinburgh. In his baking, though, he is especially inspired by the flavours of his Indian heritage. He now works as a manager at a prestigious theatre company in Stratford-upon-Avon. Michael has attempted pretty much every discipline in baking, but his strengths lie in cakes and pastry.
Michael says: "This was the very first time that I applied, one night I applied as I was a bit bored, I never thought I would get to the audition process. So when I found out it was a mixture of shock and blind panic!"
35-year-old Print Shop Administrator from Wales
Michelle first fell in love with baking as a child watching her mother doing traditional baking at home. She grew up on a farm and now lives in the seaside town of Tenby with her husband and teenage son. Michelle bakes almost every other day – whether that’s making a simple loaf to have for breakfast or something sweet to eat for dessert. She loves experimenting with flavour combinations and using seasonal vegetables from her own vegetable patch. Her bakes are precise and finessed, and created with an emphasis on good-quality, local produce.
Michelle says: "I was so emotional when I found out, I cry when I am happy and cry when I am sad. I have wanted it for so long, so I couldn’t believe it."
56-year-old HGV Driver from Essex
Phil was introduced to the joys of baking bread in his home economics class at school, but it wasn’t until six years ago that he started to take baking seriously. He now bakes four or five times a week, frequently making focaccia, granary bread and brioche, but also pastry (he likes the challenge of hot-water crust, puff and choux). Phil grew up in Barking, training to be a driver at age 17. He now lives in Rainham, with his wife and two daughters.
Phil says: "To get in there now, is an amazing experience that I won’t forget for the rest of my life. My memory of the first week is being minibussed into the site and seeing the tent, those wonderful white peaks and thinking that this is happening, it’s not just a dream. I have yearned for this for years, it’s amazing."
34-year-old Marketing Consultant from Leicester
Priya’s first foray into baking started with an after-school baking club at primary school. Then, ten years ago she began baking more seriously as means to help her relax. She now bakes with such enthusiasm that she’s been known to bake bread well into the night and delivers bags of bakes to appreciative friends and family. A freelance marketing consultant and self-confessed perfectionist, Priya lives in her home town of Leicester with her husband and two children, and is writing her first novel.
Priya says: "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."
28-year-old Veterinary Surgeon from Somerset
Rosie’s baking passions began when she was given a children’s baking book at age five. She grew up in a small town in Oxfordshire and studied at Cambridge. She now lives in Somerset with her childhood-sweetheart husband and many animals. When Rosie’s not treating drunken hedgehogs, performing spleen surgery on dogs, or on call, she’ll be baking through the night to unwind and keep the practice nurses well-fed. With a love of patisserie, a little box of mixed pastries is Rosie’s ‘go-to’ bake.
Rosie says: "When I heard I was accepted, the only word I can describe it as is ecstatic! When we first got here I went to the bathroom and I could see little top bits of the tent from the window and that made me very happy."
28-year-old Shop Assistant from Chester
Steph’s grandad got her baking with his love of homemade bread. She’s always loved making a mess in the kitchen, but she has been baking with a vengeance for the past three or so years. She is primarily self-taught and considers herself an ‘intermediate, still-learning’ baker. Steph lives in Chester with her mum, and her passion for sports and wellness inspires her baking: she enjoys the challenge of making her bakes healthier, adding vegetables or fruits, lowering the refined sugar content and prioritising more nutritional fats.
Steph says: "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 Great British Bake Off airs on Channel 4 Tuesday nights at 8PM.
Picture Credits: Love Productions/Channel 4