Where are they now? 10 past Great British Bake Off contestants
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With the sixth series of the Great British Bake Off set to hit screens soon, we find out how life has changed for past contestants
Martha Collison, Berkshire
Just 17 when she wowed us in the Bake Off tent last year, Berkshire school-girl Martha juggled A-level studies with show stopper bakes. Since the show Martha has worked on a range of projects, in addition to her studies. 2015 has seen Martha travel to Cambodia with Tearfund, a charity that aims to stop child trafficking. But she has still made time for baking – from writing a regular recipe column and filming with Waitrose to appearing as a judge at food fairs.
Luis Troyano, Cheshire
Hailing from Stockport, with a Spanish heritage, Luis Troyano was a finalist in The Great British Bake Off 2014. Trained as a graphic designer and also a keen bee keeper, these days Luis can be found donning an apron and demonstrating at food festivals around the country or whipping up delicious afternoon teas at his local, The Farmers Arms in Poynton. Luis’ first book, Bake it Great, is released in August 2015, so expect to find him at a book signing near you!
Christine Wallace, Oxfordshire
Super-organised Christine from Didcot had already been baking for 60 years before taking part in series 4 – she lists childhood baking with her grandmother as one of her earliest memories. Since making it through to the quarter finals of Bake Off in 2013, Christine has broadened her baking experience even further with W.I. Talks, demonstrations, appearing on ‘That’s Oxford’ T.V. and even running cookery classes. Her recipe book Warm and Cosy is available through her website.
Ruby Tandoh, Essex
The philosophy and history of art student grew up in Southend and was a finalist of the fourth series of Bake Off. Ruby published her cookbook, Crumb, last year and now writes for various publications including Elle magazine and a weekly recipe column for the Guardian.
Beca Lyne-Pirkis, Hampshire
A member of her local military wives choir and a master at making macarons, Hampshire resident Beca was a semi-finalist in series 4. Since the show, Cardiff-born Beca has gone on to have her own television cookery series Becws on Welsh channel S4C, in addition to giving talks and demonstrations at food shows and festivals around the country.
Chetna Makan, Kent
Former fashion designer and Broadstairs mum Chetna made it to the semi-finals of series 5 with her fusion of Indian flavours with traditional British bakes. These days, baking is her profession and her book, The Cardamon Trail, is set for release in April 2016. Chetna is also back in front of the camera on her Youtube channel, Food with Chetna.
Frances Quinn, Leicestershire
The childrenswear designer from Market Harborough was crowned the winner of the fourth series. Known for her imaginative interpretations of the tasks each week – remember the giant jam sandwich cake or the (unfortunately) tumbling tower of biscuits? Frances’s first book, Quinntessential Baking is published in August this year and promises to showcase recipes that channel her fun-loving creativity.
Richard Burr, London
With a pencil tucked behind his ear and a serious eye for detail, the North London builder became a series 5 finalist and bookies’ favourite to win after securing the title of Star Baker a record five times. Following the experience in the Bake Off tent last summer, Richard has been filming video recipes with Scoff Food and his first book, Bake it Yourself is released this August.
Howard Middleton, Yorkshire
He doesn’t have a sweet tooth, but that didn’t stop former graphic designer and Sheffield Council worker Howard from creating mouth-watering bakes in series 4. You may have seen him demonstrating or judging at a food festival near you, or appearing as a panellist on last year’s spin-off show, An Extra Slice. 2015 has already been an exciting year – in July he married his partner of 28 years and this September Howard’s first book Delicious Gluten Free Baking is released.
Nancy Birtwhistle, Yorkshire
Hull’s favourite baker, Nancy, was crowned Bake Off winner in 2014. Viewers will remember the veggie-growing grandmother’s sense of humour – her reference to silverfox Paul Hollywood merely as ‘the male judge’ a particular highlight. Once involved in dog obedience training, Nancy’s dog Meg even qualified for Crufts. Now, after her time in the Bake Off tent you’re more likely to blogging about her experiences on her website, judging cakes at county fairs, recipe writing or even appearing on live radio and television shows.
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