Kent's Tom leaves Bake Off tent


At very least Tom will be bringing some great bakes back to Kent this year - Credit: Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions

Those of us with a sweet tooth - or indeed anyone who just loves seeing cooks in a state of tizzy and triumph as they create delicious, beautiful treats- will be delighted to welcome back Channel 4's Great British Bake Off.

Kent has a proud history of providing the show with brilliant bakers - last year we had Laura Addlington from Gravesend, who made it to the finals and who said afterwards she'd found lifelong friends among her fellow contestants. Then there was Jane Beedle (who now runs a cookery school in Faversham, a finalist, too, back in 2016, with firefighter Mat Riley a contestant the year before that, both in the days when the programme was still on the Beeb and with Mary Berry, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins at the helm.

So, this time last week, with the new series of Bake Off about to begin,  I was weighing up Tom's chances in the tent. The 28-year-old software developer from Maidstone was set to take his place as a contestant in series 12 of the classic cooking show. We learned that, though Tom proudly remembers his place as the only boy in his primary school baking club, he only discovered his true passion for baking a mere four years ago, when he made his dad a sticky toffee pudding cake. Now he bakes several times a week, rustling up everything from pies and quiches to bread. He loves amateur dramatics and singing and is a keen runner. These are all past-times Tom will be able to devote more time to, as in fact he was the first contestant to leave the Bake Off tent! Bad luck Tom - some of those gravity-defying cakes were always going to take a lot of beating. We bet your theatrical 1812 Overture Cake tasted absolutely delicious! We're confident nothing's going to stop you baking, and we look forward to hearing what you're planning on rustling up next!

The Great British Bake Off, starts Tuesday, September 21, 8pm