Monday 26 September 2016

‘There are more tears – and that’s just the judges’ – The Great Irish Bake Off new series will be most ‘emotional’ yet

Published 19/10/2015 | 14:44

Lilly Higgins-,Anna Nolan and Paul Kelly of The Great Irish Bake Off on Tv3 Picture Brian McEvoy
Lilly Higgins-,Anna Nolan and Paul Kelly of The Great Irish Bake Off on Tv3 Picture Brian McEvoy
Lilly Higgins-,Anna Nolan and Paul Kelly of The Great Irish Bake Off on Tv3. Picture Brian McEvoy

Great Irish Bake Off judge Paul Kelly has revealed that the upcoming third series will be the most “emotional” yet as both bakers and judges succumb to the pressure.

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“There are more tears this year – and that’s just from the judges,” says Paul.  “We were bawling our eyes out!”

New judge Lily Higgins, a food blogger and author, admits she cried during filming of the final although it’s the bakers who sob the most throughout the eight week competition.

“It’s just very emotional for them and it’s really intense as well,” she says.

Bakers taking part in the new series of The Great Irish Bake Off on Tv3. Picture Brian McEvoy
Bakers taking part in the new series of The Great Irish Bake Off on Tv3. Picture Brian McEvoy

“The showstopper is five hours of baking and they’re exhausted, absolutely exhausted, and then for us to say it didn’t work out, it’s hard on them.”

Paul, Lily, and presenter Anna Nolan all feel the standard is much higher this year and the pressure even tougher for contestants.

“This series has a different feel to it because of the standard of baking and also the type of baker who has applied to do the show is very, very committed,” says Anna.

“They put themselves under a lot of pressure.  You see, in every single episode, a look of determination on each of their faces. They’re all in it to win it.  There’s no messing around and ‘isn’t it nice to be on this show’.”

Although the standard is higher - with Merrion Hotel pastry chef Paul admitting that one technical challenge in particular would “push they limits of my experience” - viewers can expect some delicious disasters too.

“It makes for good telly I suppose,” says Paul, “And you’re going to see a lot of that this series, for sure.  There’s no way amateur bakers can make it through this obstacle course without making some kind of mistake, or an accidental drop.  There’s lots of passion and lots of tears.”

Occasionally the breakdowns are due to the fact the bakers are facing criticism of their creations for the first time in their lives.

“They’re amateur bakers, not professional bakers, so they’re used to being at home in their own kitchen with everybody saying, ‘your stuff is fabulous!’ so it’s the first time they have two people saying, ‘That is appalling,’ or ‘That’s just nto good enough.’” says Anna.

Lily adds, “You can tell a lot of them are used to just getting praise so when they present something it’s a little disheartening to say to them ‘that’s wrong’ or ‘that pastry’s too thick’ and you can see they’re amazed, absolutely amazed.”

The Great Irish Bake Off begins on TV3 Sunday October 25 at 9pm.

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