This year’s youngest baker Liam Charles has missed out on a spot in the semi-final as he became the eighth contestant to leave the Great British Bake Off.
Fans are distraught that the 19-year-old student had to leave the tent, but Liam himself is remaining upbeat – and has even set his sights on a triumphant return.
“In all fairness, I can look back – probably tomorrow morning I think – and say I smashed it,” he said after the episode aired. “Onwards and upwards now. It’s not the end of me, it’s just the beginning. I am coming back for Paul Hollywood’s job in a couple of years time.”
The theme for the week was Forgotten Bakes, but for Stacey Hart it will be one to remember as she won Star Baker for the first time.
Liam had more of a nightmare. He struggled with his Cumberland Rum Nicky – and his Showstopper Savoy Cake was a disaster.
“On my Rum Nicky, I just couldn’t get the lattice pastry topping to work,” he recalled. “Everything prior to that was going well – it’s a pattern that you have to get right and I was really struggling – I kept redoing it and it ate into my time, and of course I put it into the oven late, so it didn’t have enough time to cook.”
Liam, known to his friends as “Cake Boy”, combined his Bake Off practice with his studies as a second year drama student. “There was so much work doing exams and also to be in the Bake Off in the same year was totally unbelievable,” he said.
“At the time I thought, ‘Why I am doing this to myself?’ – but as it is with human nature, once it’s gone you really miss it. The experience was mad stressful at some points but looking back I would definitely do it all again.”
“Being the youngest baker in the tent had a massive part to play. It meant I got lots of mothering and fathering from the bakers, with some really good advice on baking and how to cope in the tent,” he said.
“We are now planning a night out at Nandos, as some of the bakers have never been. I am going to take them and tell them what to order – I know the menu inside out!”
So what next?
“In an ideal world I would love to combine drama and baking together,” Liam says.
What’ll that look like – a theatre show involving live baking? A TV drama revolving around a bakery? A cookery show delivered in-character? Whatever he comes up with will be exciting to see.
Saying goodbye to Liam, Paul Hollywood commented: “Don’t stop baking! So sorry to lose Liam, he’s learned a lot from beginning to now and he is now a totally different baker.
“He’s done really well to get to the quarter final, he should feel very proud of himself.”
Liam will join Jo Brand on The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice on Thursday 19th October, Channel 4 at 10.00 pm. The Great British Bake Off airs at 8pm on Tuesdays