Entertainment

First contestant axed from Bake Off says medical career helped with pressure

Loriea failed to impress judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood in the first episode of the new series.

The first amateur baker eliminated from The Great British Bake Off has said her medical career helped her deal with the stress of the show’s famous tent.

Loriea, 27, a diagnostic radiographer from Durham, was axed during Tuesday night’s launch after failing to impress judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood.

Speaking on Channel 4 spin-off An Extra Slice, she admitted it was strange entering the show’s “bubble” but that her training helped her focus.

She said: “It was strange going from my home and work but I think I’m not an overly excitable person so I went in going, ‘I’m in the tent, it’s fine’.

“Working in the job I do, I can focus on different challenges and switch off when I need to switch off.”

Loriea also revealed that her husband Peter gained weight after eating her practice bakes ahead of filming.

She said: “Peter was really supportive until the point where I think his weight probably gained a little bit too much.

“It was good for me to leave and enter a bubble because by the time I got back he had lost about a stone.”

The Great British Bake Off 2020
The Great British Bake Off contestants for 2020 (C4/Love Productions/Mark Bourdillon/PA)

During the showstopper section, contestants were challenged to create a cake bust of their favourite celebrity figure, with Loriea choosing Jamaican poet Louise Bennett-Coverley.

Explaining how her mixed heritage influenced her decision, she said: “I don’t sound Jamaican, I don’t sound like I am from London, I don’t sound like I live in the noughties.”

She added: “She depicted that really well, and I thought, ‘If I am going to choose anybody, she speaks about identity and I’m just going to be me’.”

Speaking about the poet, who died in 2006, she added: “I’m pleased she is no longer with us so she won’t be able to see the attempt I made.”

Loriea also revealed she almost chose eight-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt after meeting him at an athletics championship event in Jamaica where she was competing.

Tuesday’s episode saw Peter, 20, an accounting and finance student from Edinburgh, named star baker after three successful bakes.

Sura, 31, a pharmacy dispenser, accidentally caused a rival contestant to lose four of his six miniature upside-down pineapple cakes when she swung her arm to hit a fly.

Little Britain star Matt Lucas also made his debut, replacing previous co-host Sandi Toksvig, in a skit mimicking Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s coronavirus briefings.

The 12 new amateur bakers and presenters formed a “bubble” in Down Hall Hotel near Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, so the show could be filmed.

The opener notched up Bake Off’s biggest overnight launch audience since its move to Channel 4.

The show, which was pushed back for Mr Johnson’s televised address to the nation and aired straight after, averaged 6.9 million viewers and peaked at 7.9 million. It was up more than a million on last year.

The 2019 opener drew an average of 5.7 million viewers, peaking at 6.6 million.

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