The Great British Bake Off is back. Expect miracles and (hopefully few) mishaps from the latest 12 bakers to enter the hallowed tent.
The Great British Bake Off is returning to our screens for a sixth series.
Without further ado, it's time to introduce you to the dozen new bakers who will be mixing up magic, kneading out problems and proofing themselves the best through a series of fiendish baking challenges to take the title of Bake Off Champion.
Stu is a professional musician and father of two. He was first introduced to cooking by his parents – who owned a restaurant – and was amazed at how "something liquid could go in and out would come this fluffed-up awesomeness."
These days, he feels confident creating across the baking spectrum and loves to trial new flavour combinations, particularly those involving Middle Eastern spices.
Flora is this year's youngest contestant, a student just about to start her history of art degree. Could her artistic interests result in the most stunning of bakes? We'll have to wait and see.
Currently, she lives at home with her parents and younger sisters in the Scottish countryside. Her family have always been enthusiastic bakers, and she says that she can't remember a time when she didn't bake.
Ian is a travel photographer who is the Dalai Lama's personal lensman when he comes to the UK. He got into baking six years ago because he wanted his children to enjoy fresh bread everyday, but he's not just interested in bread. He has a passion for foraging and this, along with his travels around the world, has given him the confidence to experiment with unusual discoveries.
Though she has now been baking for a decade, Nadiya was first interested in the subject after wondering why her father only served ice cream for dessert at his restaurant and decided to explore more options.
Her family is originally from Bangladesh, where desserts aren't a major feature on many menus, but with the encouragement of a teacher, she now bakes for family occasions.
Mat is used to braving the heat, but not just that of his kitchen. He began baking a few years back between shifts working as a London firefighter, mastering simple cakes and biscuits before moving onto more complicated pastries and pies. A man who takes sweet over savoury, he describes himself as a "competent amateur" who "learns every time he bakes." His greatest ambition, apparently, is to own a dishwasher.
Alvin originally came from the Philippines and now works in Berkshire as a nurse. Questioning why he bothered buying cakes and bread when there was a perfectly good oven in the kitchen, Alvin set about learning and now bakes at least four times a week. Dedicated to mastering the craft, he once baked bread every day for three weeks until he believed it was perfect!
Accountant Dorret enjoys dancing to offset the calories in her cakes, having been creating the latter for 40 years.
She regularly visits Michelin-starred restaurants along with her husband, seeking inspiration from the work of very best chefs in the country, and often hosts dinner parties to share her creations with friends. Her dream is to attend the Cordon Bleu school in Paris.
Though he has worked as a prison governer for nearly a decade, Paul sees The Great British Bake Off as an "opportunity to show that men like me, stereotyped by our jobs, do and can love baking and that it is a skill and talent to be proud of." Prior to working in prisons, he performed ceremonial duties at Buckingham Palace in the Coldstream Guards.
Ugne is from Lithuania, and her other hobby besides baking is bodybuilding, a passion shared by her partner, whom she now lives with in Essex. She learnt to bake from her mother and grandmother, who taught her Eastern European baking methods, so it's possible she'll be whipping up some interesting bakes that we don't often see here. She likes to incorporate Lithuanian flavours into her baking too.
At one point, Marie couldn't even boil an egg, according to her children. But she was entered for The Great British Bake Off by her daughter, who thinks things have changed. Marie moved to Paris with her family in her thirties and, inspired by the patisserie masters of the region, now specialises in producing elaborate bakes. She also insists on making bread for her grandchildren so that they can have "proper packed lunches."
A child welfare officer living and working near Bradford, Sandy likes to bake in her spare time to show her family, friends and colleagues that she cares about them. "It might not be glamorous but it's tasty," is how she describe her baking style. She runs a volunteer-led cookery club teaching children from deprived backgrounds how to bake on a budget.
Tamal is a trainee anaesthetist working in Manchester. His older sister taught him how to bake while he was growing up, and even asked him later on to bake her wedding cake for her. Since her wedding, he has produced cakes for other family and friends' weddings too. The largest was five tiers tall, so he's no stranger to big baking projects.
Are you looking forward to the new series? What cakes and bakes do you hope will feature in this year's challenges? Let us know in the Comments below.
All images credited to: BBC/Love Productions/Mark Bourdillon
The Great British Bake Off returns to BBC One on Wednesday 5th August at 8pm.
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