Great British Bake Off: 2019 contestants revealed

The Great British Bake Off class of 2019Image copyright
The Great British Bake Off/Channel 4

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The Great British Bake Off class of 2019

A geography teacher, a vet and a fashion designer are just three of the contestants hoping to win this year’s Great British Bake Off.

It returns to Channel 4 on Tuesday 27 August, the third series since it moved across from BBC One.

The presenters and judges remain the same, with Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig back for another year of puns.

Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith will also be on hand to judge the best bakes produced in the famous white tent.

This year’s line-up consists of a baker’s dozen – 13 – instead of the usual 12, and there’s a decidedly younger contingent.

More than half of the contestants are in their 20s, while the oldest contestant is 56.

TV critic Scott Bryan tweeted that the show had encouraged younger people to don their aprons.

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Leith said that the programme was “a very inclusive show”.

She said: “What’s so interesting is when they’re choosing the bakers, the main thing they want to know is that they’re getting the 12 best bakers in the country.

“They’re not choosing, they’re not set up to find somebody who’s the right ethnic mix, or the right height, or the right age or anything.”

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Meet the contestants

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The Great British Bake Off/Channel 4

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Clockwise from top left: Rosie, Michael, Priya and Helena

  • Rosie is a 28-year-old veterinary surgeon in Somerset and her baking passions began when she was given a children’s baking book at age five. When Rosie’s not treating drunken hedgehogs, performing spleen surgery on dogs, or on call, she’s baking through the night to unwind and keep the practice nurses well fed.
  • Michael, 26, is a theatre manager/fitness instructor in Stratford-upon-Avon. He was born in Newcastle but considers himself Scottish as he moved to the suitably-named Scone aged seven and studied in Edinburgh. In his baking, though, he is especially inspired by the flavours of his Indian heritage.
  • Priya, 34, is a marketing consultant in her hometown of Leicester and her first foray into baking started with an after-school baking club at primary school. Seven years ago, after she was given a mixer as a wedding gift, she went “baking bonkers”. She recently started experimenting with vegan baking and is also writing her first novel.
  • Online project manager Helena, 40, lives in Leeds and spent much of her childhood watching her Spanish grandmother cook and bake. She was born in North Africa and grew up in Lanzarote before studying in mainland Spain. She only really started baking properly after spending time living with a family in Las Vegas.

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The Great British Bake Off/Channel 4

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Clockwise from top left: David, Michelle, Jamie and Amelia

  • London-based international health adviser David, 36, is originally from Yorkshire and as a child, his mum baked all the time, meaning the family never ate a shop-bought loaf at home. His passion was further developed by his travels to Malawi, where he learned to build an oven out of an oil drum and invented a cake that could steam cook over a village fire.
  • Michelle, 35, works as a print shop administrator in Tenby, Wales, and bakes almost every other day, with fresh bread for breakfast and sweet treats for pudding always on the menu.
  • Part-time waiter Jamie was born and raised with his identical twin brother in Surrey and was taught the baking basics by his family. However, it was actually an episode of Bake-Off that inspired the 20-year-old to make a plaited loaf. He happily takes on technically difficult bakes, such as a croquembouche or croissants.
  • Sportswear fashion designer, Amelia, is 24 and also hails from Yorkshire, specifically Halifax. She honed her baking skills while at university and one of her proudest bakes is a snow leopard cake that she made for her nephew’s fifth birthday.

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The Great British Bake Off/Channel 4

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  • Alice, a 28-year-old geography teacher from Essex, first turned her hand to baking at the age of 15, after she was left unable to do sport while recovering from a back operation for scoliosis. In her 20s, she perfected the fruit pavlova while living in New Zealand, where she also attended art school. Now living in east London, she uses cakes in her lessons to demonstrate everything from coastal erosion to volcanic activity.

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The Great British Bake Off/Channel 4

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Clockwise from top left: Dan, Steph, Henry and Phil

  • Support worker Dan, 32, is another Yorkshire lad. He has fond memories of his mum showing him how to bake a Victoria sponge as a child. He got serious about baking when he was 21 in a bid to impress his then girlfriend (now wife) with a themed birthday cake. He went on to make their wedding cake.
  • Steph, 28, is a shop assistant in Chester and her passion for sports and wellness inspires her baking. She enjoys the challenge of making her bakes healthier by adding vegetables or fruit and choosing nutritional fats.
  • Durham University student Henry, 20, whose love of baking and all things culinary began at the age of 12, when the Bake Off tent pitched up in his local park. He now tests out his culinary skills on the discerning student palates of his university housemates, while studying English Literature.
  • Last but not least is Essex-based motorbike enthusiast Phil, 56, an HGV driver who was introduced to the joys of baking bread in his home economics class at school. He now bakes four or five times a week, frequently making focaccia, granary bread and brioche, as well as pastry.

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