Ahead of the final episode to be shown on the BBC, find out more about the baker – and how her life has changed post-Bake Off.
Why did you apply to be part of the show?
I love baking, it’s my thing, it’s my haven, my safe place – I just love it! But I never ever thought I would get on Bake Off. My boyfriend and my family are my main source of encouragement – when I felt unsure, they give me a good nudge!
Who taught you to bake?
My nan was the best. Her baking was amazing – I spent a lot of time growing up with her and my grandad and she was always baking and cooking. I stood next to her on the brown dining chair that I dragged through to the kitchen watching in complete adoration.
How often do you bake?
When I’m at work I try to bake at least once a week but if it’s been a stressful week probably every night! And always on the weekend. During the school holidays, the kitchen – covered in flour and icing sugar – is where you’ll find me.
How big is your kitchen?
Not big enough for the whirlwind that is me…
Did you practise before appearing on the show?
Wow, I practised! I dread to think how many hours, eggs, grams of sugar, flour and tears I used up practising.
What was your biggest high and low on the programme?
Biggest high was that very first walk down to the tent in week one – I couldn’t believe I was actually there. Biggest low – undoubtedly my raw bread! Heartbreaking and mortifying. I was so embarrassed and still don’t know what happened.
How did you balance the show with your day job?
Head down and ploughed on! I think I was running on adrenaline and disbelief – definitely not sleep! I work in a secondary school in the special needs department and I teach PE – teenagers have no sympathy for tired teachers/secret bakers!
Has your life changed since the end of Bake Off?
Life hasn’t really changed. It was straight back to work – although I am now Miss Brown or “Lady from Bake Off”! I would love to be able to bake all the time – but who knows what will happen?
The Great British Bake Off final is on tonight, 8pm BBC1