He says: “I didn’t watch Bake Off until two years ago and then my friends pressured me to apply and I thought ‘yes, let’s give it a go’. It’s an amazing challenge and when I applied I never thought I would get into the tent in a million years.
“It’s completely different baking in my kitchen to the tent…there is no pressure to get it right or race against a clock. I also love to have music playing and always have my sous-chef (aka my dog Oscar) waiting patiently by my side for something to drop on the floor that he can eat before I have a chance to stop him!”
He says: “I went in [Bake Off] for my dad who taught me how to make a Victoria Sponge as a little boy. And my partner who signed me up for this.
“All of my friends back home in India will be really surprised. They have known me to be a singer in a choir and a two piece band – but never as a baker. So it will be interesting to see their reaction.”
She says: “None of my family really bake, it’s just me that bakes. My friends have always wanted me to apply, but I didn’t feel confident enough to apply until this year. I went into the tent mostly for myself to see if I could it!
“In a way, the colours in my kitchen are very similar to the tent, but obviously a lot smaller. It’s very peaceful in my kitchen, very calming and no time constraints. I find baking very relaxing, but it wasn’t like that in the tent!”
He says: “I’ve always loved cooking, especially baking and as a family we’ve always loved watching Bake Off. I bake as often as I can – several times a week, mainly in the day while my wife and children are at school as I get some peace that way! The time pressure in the tent was harder of course but I have to admit I loved every minute.
“I can’t wait for everyone to find out [that he’s on Bake Off], it’s been the hardest secret to keep!”
She says: “Because I am so new to baking there are going to be so many people that will be shocked. I don’t really post about my baking on social media, so I am sure my friends are going to be surprised.
“I think it may blow their minds as they know me for going out and going to the gym as opposed to being in the kitchen. I am a bit of an undercover baker! I cannot wait!”
He says: “Even five years ago I really had no idea about The Great British Bake Off. One of my colleagues kind of pushed me to apply for Bake Off. He kept sending me the application link, until I said to him that I have started applying.
“I think pretty much everybody I know will be surprised. They know I bake, but not to the scale that I could enter the tent. Colleagues I knew during my PhD don’t have a clue that I can bake. Back in India I didn’t bake either. All of them and actually myself are surprised that I made it into the tent.”
She says: “My daughters encouraged me to do [Bake Off], and I was approaching 60 and I found it really liberating to do something like this. As you get older you feel less inhibited, and think does it matter if you make a fool of yourself.
“I have always wanted to be even more flamboyant and free, I really wanted to do this for me and I thought it was the right time to step up and take on some challenges and have some fun.”
He says: “To be honest, I went into the tent for myself. I wanted to change life a little, shake it up a bit, start a new course. I am on a new journey in life at the moment, and what better way to start it.
“I bake most days, my daily bread! My kitchen couldn’t be more different to the tent, it’s calm, quiet and cool. It’s my haven, I spend most of my time in there, baking or painting. It’s my zen place and always has been. If you can’t find me in the house I am in the kitchen.”
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