Bake Off 2017 exit interview: who missed out on a place in the final?

The departing contestant looks back on their time on the Channel 4 show – and reveals how Mary Berry inspired their love of baking (SPOILERS)

The four Bake Off 2017 semi-finalists, photographed exclusively for Radio Times by Richard Grassie

The Great British Bake Off 2017 final three have been confirmed – and poor Stacey Hart has just missed out on a place in the final episode.

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The 42-year-old mother of three spoke to Radio Times just before Patisserie Week about her Bake Off experience, explaining how “relentless” practice helped push her all the way to the final four.

Read the full interview below, and find out more about the final three in this week’s issue of Radio Times, in store and available online now.

Bake Off 2017's Stacey Hart, photographed exclusively for Radio Times by Richard Grassie
Bake Off 2017’s Stacey Hart, photographed exclusively for Radio Times by Richard Grassie

Stacey, why did you apply to be on Bake Off?

I wanted to do something for myself, having given up my teaching career to become a mum 12 years ago. At first, I only told my husband I was applying – if I’d told my children the whole of London would have known in five minutes!

When did you start baking?

I taught myself to bake at university in Warwick. My friends bought me the Mary Berry cookbook for cakes – which is still on my shelf – and they all signed it: “Stacey D, make a cake for me”. I put on about four stone at university!

How often do you bake?

Every day without fail. I am totally addicted; this morning I’ve already baked some brownies, some cookies and made marshmallows.

Have you got a big kitchen?

It’s a nice-sized kitchen but there’s never enough space, I’ve always got bakes piled up on top of each other. I also love having the newest gadgets and gizmos – my favourite is my Magimix, which I got as a wedding present and use for absolutely everything. But I also love my avocado scraper, my melon baller, my cherry pitter – I’ve honestly got every gadget going.

Radio Times Bake Off cover (RadioTimes, JG)
Pick up your copy of Radio Times for EXCLUSIVE interviews and photos with all the bakers ahead of next week’s final

How much did you practise?

I practised relentlessly, in fact I think I’m still here for my hard work more than my natural talent. Of course life got in the way and I still had to feed the family non-baked goods, but as soon as the kids were at school or in bed I was in the kitchen. I practised my steamed pudding 17 times. I told Paul and he said: “Good luck on your 18th attempt!” I got my handshake for it, so it was worth it! That was my best moment in the tent.

And your worst?

When I realised I’d left baking parchment at the bottom of my layered pie – I thought I was going to pass out from the stress. I really hoped they would edit that out of the show but they just had to leave it in…

Do your sons enjoy baking?

My youngest, Ethan, is very good at helping me in the kitchen. He is super happy if I give him a ball of dough to design his own creation and an icing bag to decorate it with after. The other two are rather untidy and don’t listen, so baking with them isn’t always a joy!

Has life changed since Bake Off?

My friends get really excited when they receive one of my bakes… But other that that, everything is the same – I’m still a wife and stressed-out mum. Well, almost the same – I get recognised more in the high street than I used to!

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The Great British Bake Off 2017 final is on Tuesday 31st October at 8pm on Channel 4