The Great British Bake Off 2017 final: Kate reveals she only started baking two years ago

The 29-year-old health and safety officer from Liverpool admits she’s “winged it a bit”

Kate Lyon (RT shoot Richard Grassie, EH)

Why did you apply to be on The Great British Bake Off?

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I did it on a whim – I like a challenge, so I applied online and thought no more of it. I never dreamed I’d get a call back, let alone get on the show!

When did you start baking?

No one in my family really bakes, so I only started about two years ago. The first thing I baked was a Christmas cake with a lot of rum in it! I was celebrating the first Christmas in my new house and wanted to impress my family.

How often do you bake now?

I cook or bake every day. I have to be busy all the time and I don’t sleep much, which is probably why I have so many hobbies. Whenever I get a spare moment, I bake. It never goes to waste – demand from friends and family definitely outweighs supply!

What is your kitchen like?

My kitchen is relatively small but modern. I didn’t actually have a kitchen to practise in for Bake Off because I’d just ripped it out when I got the phone call! I was planning on putting in a new one myself – demolition Kate – so I had to use my parents’ kitchen. My kitchen still isn’t tiled, but I’ve got a background in construction and it’s easy when you break all the jobs down into manageable tasks.

So without a kitchen how much were you able to practise for each show?

Not as much as I would have liked! I winged it a bit – I don’t think I ever produced the finished showstopper until I got to the tent. Please don’t tell Paul…

Are you creating your dream kitchen?

Its lovely and new but it’s smaller than I’d like. I’d absolutely love a larder – it’s like a walk-in wardrobe for food!

Did you get a Paul handshake?

I don’t think I ever did get a handshake, but being told my caramel cake was the best cake Prue had ever tried was an amazing compliment! I don’t think it gets better than that, so I can forgo the handshake.

Did Sandi succeed in finding you a boyfriend or are you living alone?

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I live on my own – and no comment! It was really embarrassing and cringey when Sandi put out appeals for one on the show but it was all good fun. We became really close during filming because there is lots of down time to get to know each other and chat. Sandi actually gave me a little hanky – she said she’s given one to her daughters too. It’s a comforting little keepsake for luck that I kept in my pocket.