Linda became the fifth baker to leave The Great British Bake Off and said: “Pastry week was supposed to be my week! …but unfortunately Pastry week was my downfall.”
Linda, 61, from East Sussex said every moment in the tent had been a “wow! moment”.
“Looking back, I thought I would be going home the first week, for me I had stars in my eyes to be actually in the tent, every moment was a “wow” moment for me. I love baking and I love being in the kitchen, and it’s a creative place for me, so to actually be in the Bake Off tent was hard for me to believe, what a place to be.”
In week five of The Great British Bake Off, the contestants had create a Cornish classic pasty in the signature, survive an eclair retro technical set by Prue and finally produce a showstopper that featured a classic tart hidden within a cage made entirely from pastry.
Linda had been top of the technical in two weeks, for Bread and Chocolate, but her Pastry fell apart.
“It was strange because the day before my pasties in practice came out perfect and the pastry was so lovely,” she said. “When I got into the tent I decided to make them differently and I don’t know why I changed the shape. All of a sudden I heard someone in the background saying that they had to be a certain size, and I knew I had gone wrong.”
She said her nerve went while making choux pastry. “The further you go in the competition the pressure becomes more intense. So I made them three times over and it still kept going wrong, it was really awful and I felt it was spiralling badly out of control! It was the first time in the tent that I started to doubt myself, ordinarily this is something I make quite easily.”
Judge Prue Letih said: “She is a really good baker, but she had a terrible week.”
Linda loved the experience with her fellow bakers, hosts Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding, but Linda saved her ultimate compliments for judges Prue and Paul Hollywood.
She said: “And when you got a positive comment from the judges it felt so good, it was amazing. I wanted to impress both Prue and Paul, but I edge towards Prue. I have been reading her memoirs, and I found her so open and honest and that’s really good. She doesn’t hide things and that’s healthy and helps other people.
Linda’s best moment from five weeks on the Channel 4 bakery contest? “The best moment was walking into the tent for the first time it was quite magical, I was like a child in Santa’s grotto, eyes everywhere. I would often walk around looking at all the lovely items on set and thinking: ‘I would love a kitchen like this and could picture myself sitting at the table sharing cake with my friends and neighbours over a cup of tea.’ I had to pinch myself so many times!”
The retirement living team leader will join Jo Brand and Tom Allen on The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice on Friday 23rd October on Channel 4 at 8pm.
“I am really looking forward to going on an An Extra Slice, I can’t wait to see the montage at the end when they show your best bits. And I so love it that people are enjoying the series and it makes them laugh, we need that at the moment. To have been part of a unique series for GBBO has been one of the best experiences of my life.”