The Great British Bake Off 2016 finalists: Andrew Smyth
Remember Richard Burr from 2014? Andrew’s a bit like that (but without the pencil behind the ear). Andrew is the sort of baker whose gingerbread houses have 352 components and who measures the thickness of his pastry by the millimetre.
With a day job as an aerospace engineer, he has pushed the boundaries of baking and design, even creating actual working clockwork pies in the shape of cogs.
Not every bake has gone like clockwork, however. Although Andrew has been Star Baker twice, he came dangerously close to eviction in week six.
He can be a little serious – especially when the clock is ticking – but he also definitely has a fun side.
The Northern Irish Cambridge graduate first got into baking thanks to lessons from his Mum and Gran. He now lives in Derby with three friends and works as an aerospace engineer for Rolls-Royce. That’s right, he actually designs jet engines.
Andrew ended up on series seven after talking himself out of applying for series six. He told the Radio Times: “I thought I didn’t have enough experience and didn’t want to make a fool of myself. This year my friends all thought I was bluffing about applying, so that spurred me on!”
Bake Off journey
After a steady opening week, Andrew used his engineering nous to full effect in Biscuit Week’s showstopper – a 3D gingerbread recreation of his time punting down the river in Cambridge. He also performed well in Bread Week and Batter Week, even creating a braided bread-basket made of bread (try saying that one quickly).
Botanical Week was more of a nightmare and was nearly the end of Andrew’s time in the tent as his three-tier Elderflower cake was a disappointment. But the very next week, he bounced back right up to the top and became Star Baker with a tropical holiday roulade and his ice cream mousse cakes.
The semi-final brought cheesy elephant ears and herby treble clefs, earning him Star Baker yet again – and leaving him very well-placed for the final.
Most questionable bake
The judges thought Andrew probably should have attached the jousting pole to his knight’s hand slightly further up…
Andrew’s supervisor at work, Sam, was a roboteer on this year’s series of Robot Wars.
Check out Andrew’s Instagram for beautiful cake photos. His Twitter also reveals the depth of his friendship with fellow contestant Tom…