Why did you apply to be on The Great British Bake Off?
I made a cake for a charity bake at work and a colleague took it round saying, “This was made by Steven, he’s applied for Bake Off.” After that I thought, “I’m going to have to now, aren’t I?” But it wasn’t until right before applications were about to close that I built up the courage – after a couple of drinks. My other half said, “Oh stop talking about it and just do it!” Sometimes I need a bit of coercing.
Who taught you to bake?
My mum, Judi, taught me the basics over 25 years ago. My earliest baking memory is making a lemon drizzle cake with her. She had four children and never bought a cake – one year someone got a Colin the Caterpillar on their birthday and it was really disappointing.
How often do you bake?
Two or three times a week. I have a football team of nieces and nephews, so I spend a lot of my spare time making superhero characters or princess castles out of fondant.
What is your kitchen like?
My little box kitchen is my equivalent of a man cave! It’s only 8ft by 8ft, but I have crammed it with gadgets and weird baking paraphernalia to the point where making a coffee is a challenge. During Bake Off it got completely trashed – we had to replace the oven halfway though!
How much did you practise?
I was a big practiser. My first signature, the Bonfire Night cake, I practised ten times; it was worth it, I got a Paul handshake! But I had to balance doing the show with work and also didn’t want everyone in my village to realise, so I had to limit how many times I tested bakes.
I have four supermarkets near me and I kept going to different ones so the people on the till wouldn’t clock that I was buying kilo after kilo of flour and eggs by the ten-dozen… The people in my local shop only realised it was me yesterday!
How many Paul handshakes did you get?
I got two coveted handshakes and each one was incredibly special. Although Paul did say to me, “You’ve set your own bar higher than everybody else’s,” and it was a lot of pressure maintaining that. I almost feel I should have screwed up in the first week. Although a couple of the other contestants told me I pushed them to try harder, which was nice to hear.
Has life changed since Bake Off?
I went straight back to work and tried to find normality again… But I’m still looking!
The Great British Bake Off 2017 final is on Tuesday at 8pm on Channel 4