Great British Bake Off 2016: Meet the bakers!

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  • From a pastor to an aerospace engineer, here is everything you need to know about this year’s Great British Bake Off contestants

    It’s that time of year again! The Great British Bake Off returns to our screens once again on Wednesday, August 24.

    The contestants range in age from 20 to 67 and are evenly split between men and women, all from a variety of backgrounds. From a pastor to an aerospace engineer, here is everything you need to know about this year’s 12 contestants who are hoping to impress Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry in the tent.

    On your marks, get set, BAKE!

    Candice, 31, secondary school PE teacher

    Candice grew up in London, living in various pubs that her parents ran. She was taught to bake by her grandmother and admits that she usually wears her pyjamas while in the kitchen. She now lives with her boyfriend and more importantly, pug, in Bedfordshire. She has a slick social media presence which showcase her best bakes alongside her pug, Dennis.

    Tom, 26, project engagement manager

    Grew up in Rochdale but now lives in London, where he works for The Royal Society of Arts. Baking is his favourite hobby, but believes that everything should be done in moderation having lost 4st 10lb.

    Jane, 61, Garden designer

    Jane, a mother of two, gets up at 5am most mornings to bake bread. She learnt the art of baking from her father and grandfather, who used to own a bakery in Hastings, Sussex. Media savvy, Jane already has an enviable Instagram account featuring all of her mouth-watering bakes. She lives in Beckenham, South London.

    Selasi, 30, client service associate

    Selasi is originally from Ghana, but moved to the UK with his family 15 years ago. He lives in London with his girlfriend, where he works as a client service associate in the finance sector.

    Val, 66, former primary school head teacher

    At the age of 15, Val started baking for her entire family and claims that she can now make all the classics with her eyes closed – we can’t wait to see that! She lives near Yeovil in Somerset with her husband.

    Michael, 20, student

    The youngest contestant this year is Michael, who lives in London, but is studying politics and economics at Durham University.
    His family originates from Cyprus, where he says he gets lots of inspiration from for his baking. He has already created his own website ‘N14 Bakery’, which he hopes will take off once the show starts.

    Benjamina, 23, teaching assistant

    Benjamina’s passion for baking started at the age of 14. She has an economics degree and bakes in her spare time when she’s not teaching. She already has a pretty impressive looking blog called Carrot and Crumb, on which she says she’s not happy if things don’t turn out picture perfect.

    Lee, 67, pastor

    Lee is the oldest contestant this year. He originally started his career as a builder, but then changed jobs to work in pastoral ministries, where he has worked for the past 30 years, most recently in a church in Greater Manchester. He took up baking after injuring his back while playing cricket with his son in 1984.

    Rav, 28, student supporter at City University, London

    Claiming to be ‘adventurous and experimental’, Rav likes to use unusual and quirky ingredients in his bakes. He takes his inspiration from far eastern cuisine and a lot of his food is vegan. He works at City University, London, where he supports students.

    Kate, 37, nurse

    Kate’s passion for baking began as a child. She works on an acute respiratory ward and bakes with her children in her spare time, using the seasonal fruit from her parents’ farm in Norfolk.

    Andrew, 25, aerospace engineer

    As an aerospace engineer, designing jet engines for Rolls-Royce, Andrew tries to apply his engineering skill to push the boundaries of his baking. He lives with friends in Derby.

    Louise, 46, hairdresser

    Louise got into baking when she made cakes for a charity bake sale at work. She lives in Cardiff and enjoys creating unusual and elaborate cake designs, as well as experimenting with different flours and flavours.

    Mary Berry has already said of this year’s contestants: ‘They know the standard that it is, which is now pretty high. And I think they were slower to bond this year than they were in the past.’

    Speaking of last year’s winner, Nadiya Hussain, Paul Hollywood said: ‘Nadya went to a whole new level, and because of that I think it put pressure on them more and I think we felt that in the tents as well.

    The seventh series of the Great British Bake Off launches on August 24 on BBC One at 8pm and we can’t wait!

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