The Class of 2017: meet this year's Great British Bake Off contestants
A Health and Safety inspector, a software developer who has survived cancer and a banker are among those hoping to rise to the occasion in Channel 4’s Great British Bake Off.
The 12-strong batch of hopefuls also features a 71-year-old retiree, the eldest amateur baker to be featured in the series to date, according to Channel 4.
The popular baking series returns to air with its new broadcaster on Tuesday August 29 at 8pm, following much controversy since news of its departure from the BBC was confirmed last year.
Meet the bakers who will be hoping a win is the icing on the cake for them:
1. Kate, 29, from Merseyside
A health and safety inspector from Merseyside, Kate also dabbles in blacksmithing, furniture restoration and yoga. She also loves the outdoors.
When she’s indoors though, indulging in her love of baking, she is a fan of “old-fashioned” baking techniques.
She taught herself to bake when she began to grow her own vegetables two years ago.
2. Peter, 52, from Essex
Born in Brixton originally, IT programme manager Peter had a well-travelled youth.
He lived in Nigeria from the age of seven and moved back to the United Kingdom when he was 24. He has a wife, Tito and two children – Temi and Toni.
He was bitten by the baking bug eight years ago when he started making his own bread. He reckons one of his specialities is making a melt-in-your-mouth Macaron, which is based on a recipe from French pastry maestro Pierre Hermes.
When he’s not kneading dough he loves running on the beach, spinning, playing chess and badminton.
3. Julia, 21, from West Sussex
Julia has spent three years honing her baking prowess so she could enter Bake Off.
She is originally from Kemerovo, Siberia.
She met her husband Matt while on holiday in Turkey as a 17-year-old.
4. Chris, 50, from Bristol
A software developer who loves the science behind baking and developing quirky flavour combinations.
He is a cancer survivor and passionate about helping other people whose lives have been affected by cancer.
He is married (his wife’s name is Catherine), and he loves sailing, travelling (especially visiting bakeries) and writing.
5. Flo, 71, from Merseyside
Flo is retired and the oldest amateur contestant to appear on Bake Off to date.
She was one of 11 children and was raised in Huyton, Liverpool.
She met her late husband Richard when she was 21 years old and working at a sausage factory.
Following Richard’s death two years ago, her son Stephen encouraged her to take up baking. She bakes treats for his restaurant when she’s not baking for the family – or ‘having a boogie’ with friends.
6. Steven, 34, from Hertfordshire
Despite having a background in marketing, Steven’s heart lies in the kitchen.
His mum, Judi, has been his cooking mentor. He cooks and bakes all of his own food and has lost an impressive five stone thanks to his own home-cooking.
He likes putting a twist on recipes from his mum’s old cookbooks.
7. Yan, 46, from North London
Hong Kong-born Yan moved to the UK with her family when she was two.
She started to bake seriously 10 years ago when she found herself in between 24 hour shifts, working as a molecular biologist for the NHS.
Currently working as a laboratory research scientist, Yan now lives in north London with her wife, Marian and cat Kacey.
8. James, 46, from Essex
James describes himself as a bald, baking banker – but his friends say he looks more like a bank robber than a banker.
He was taught to bake by his father more than 40 years ago and grows his own fruit and vegetables to incorporate into his recipes.
James lives in Essex with his wife Ann, sons Oliver and Ethan and their three chickens: Sparkles, Superman and Jeff.
9. Sophie, 33, from Surrey
A former Officer in the Royal Artillery, Sophie did not discover her talent for baking until she volunteered to make a friend’s birthday cake.
The psychology graduate, who lives in Surrey with her boyfriend and a cat named Loki, has also developed a passion for patisserie.
When she is not baking, Sophie enjoys track cycling, rowing, teaching military boot camps and is also training to be a stuntwoman.
10. Tom, 29, from Edinburgh
Architect Tom lives in Edinburgh with his partner David, where he can often be found making fresh shortbread for family and friends.
Baking has always been a huge part of family life for Tom and his siblings, who were taught to bake by their mother, a home economics teacher.
The family cherishes recipe books passed down by grandparents from both sides of the family.
11. Stacey, 42, from Hertfordshire
Former school teacher Stacey has fond memories of helping her grandmother make bread and butter pudding when she was a little girl, but it was during university that she really started to bake seriously.
Stacey likes to incorporate her Jewish heritage into her baking, with a traditional homemade Challah with every Friday night dinner.
12. Liam, 19, from North London
Hackney-born Liam has been baking for four years and is fondly known as the ‘Cake Boy’ amongst his university friends.
He believes that baking is a universal language that can bring people together from all walks of life, and he wants to make it acceptable amongst his peers and the younger generation.