We can’t wait to see all the baking as The Great British Bake Off kicks off on Channel 4.
So what better way to get geared up than to find out all about this year’s contenders. One of the amateur bakers taking on the challenge is Mark, a 32-year-old project manager from Liverpool.
Mark began experimenting with baking after visiting a pie shop during his uni days, and now he’s ready to show off his skills on the much-loved baking show.
Here’s everything you need to know about him.
Who is GBBO contestant Mark?
- Name: Mark
- Age: 32
- Where’s Mark from? Liverpool
- What jobs does Mark do? Project manager
Mark’s love for baking started when he was studying at university. The Northern Irish project manager visited a pie shop in Edinburgh daily for their delicious Mac ’n’ Cheese pie.
Feeling inspired, he decided to experiment, first attempting and then perfecting a lemon drizzle cake.
He eventually went on to make multi-tiered wedding cakes, each time looking at the science of the bake in order to perfect it.
Mark’s baking style is hugely influenced by his Irish heritage, but also by the flavours of Africa and Asia, where he travels regularly for his work as a project manager for public health research programmes.
When he isn’t baking, you can find Mark walking in the Lake District, indulging his passion for wildlife, or with his wife, travelling and exploring new places.
What are Mark’s strengths? “I think I am quite a versatile baker and always up for a challenge.”
What are Mark’s weaknesses? “My biggest weakness is baking to a time limit – at home I spend hours (and sometimes days!) baking something as a way of de-stressing, so I wasn’t sure how I would deal with that in the tent!
What has Mark said about joining Bake Off?
Mark couldn’t believe his luck when he was accepted for The Great British Bake Off.
Speaking of the moment he found out, he said: “It felt like a very long wait, from finding out I was one of the 12 bakers to the moment when I first walked into the tent. Honestly, I didn’t think it was going to happen! I was filled with nerves and excitement in the lead up.
“I remember seeing the tent on that first morning and it actually felt quite overwhelming. After all this time waiting and getting to walk into the famous bake off tent – it felt like a dream. It still does!”
So what was Mark most looking forward to?
“I was really looking forward to meeting all the other bakers, making new friends, and seeing how far I could challenge myself in the tent. It hasn’t really sunk in that I was part of GBBO 2020, and I don’t think it will until I watch it on TV,” he said.
Recalling his happiest memories filming, Mark gushed: “I have so many happy memories from that week, but the best has to be the moment when I met all the other bakers. After months and months of waiting, it was brilliant when we all eventually got to meet each other. We all bonded really quickly in the first week.”
The Great British Bake Ofd producers recently revealed the behind-the-scenes changes the show had to go through in order to work in the current climate, which included isolating in bubbles for the entire crew, cast and production.
And when asked who he’d choose to “bubble with” out of previous contestants if given the chance, Mark opted for series eight’s Liam Charles, who presents Bake Off: The Professionals and is a judge on Junior Bake Off.
He said: “This is a hard one, but I think it would have to be Liam. I reckon he would be quite chilled out, and would have taught me how to keep my nerves under control in the tent. Also, as a Bake Off Junior judge and presenter on The Professionals I reckon he would be an excellent baker to give me feedback on all my practice bakes!”
When is GBBO back?
The show will return to Channel 4 for the 11th series on September 22nd at 8pm.
The news was announced on the official Great British Bake Off Twitter page.
Alongside a picture of the show’s judges and hosts, they wrote: “Put a little love in your tart. Join us on Tuesday 22nd September for the return of The Great British Bake Off!”
— British Bake Off (@BritishBakeOff) September 9, 2020