Wednesday 22 October 2014

Great British Bake Off 2014 contestants revealed: Meet the baker's dozen

The contestants for the fifth series of the Great British Bake Off have been unveiled ahead of the show’s return next week.

Daisy Wyatt

Published 29/07/2014 | 11:12

Norman is a true Scot and lives on the north east coast of Scotland. Now retired, Norman joined the Merchant Navy at the age of 19 where he worked as a radio operator and travelled the world. Norman’s father and brother were bakers, but he didn’t want that lifestyle for himself. However, he would like to bring back traditional Scottish recipes and has contacted some of his father’s old apprentices to revive some of the more traditional Scottish bakes that he fears are being lost. Despite being fiercely Scottish, he takes his caravan to Perpignan in France and some of his baking is inspired by French patisserie. Norman cultivates his own yeast starters to make bread and also uses it to brew his own beer and wine.

From an aspiring 17-year-old sixth former to the oldest baker to compete in the series so far, the contestants are as varied as to be expected from a primetime BBC show.

As wholesome as ever, the bakers range from allotment-loving retirees to amateur beekeepers.

Martha, 17, is the youngest contestant to join the 'baker’s dozen', and has had to find time to practise her baking skills while studying for her AS-Level exams.

Over 50 years her senior, Diana, 69, is the oldest contestant and has been baking since her teenager years.

Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry have already called this year’s crop of bakers the most professional to enter the Bake Off tent so far, and judging by their character bios this year's contestants mean serious business.

Norman, 66, from Scotland, cultivates his own yeast starts to make his own bread and to brew beer and wine.

IT manager Jordan, 32, describes himself as a “nerdy baker” with a keen passion for perfecting crossbreed bakes like the “cronut” and his very own “pretzel-croissant", while Luis from Stockport likes to make creative inventions from Tequila Slammer Cheesecake to cherry brandy pipette gateaux.

The Great British Bake Off returns to a new home on BBC One this year after the last series achieved record ratings on BBC Two.

Over 9 million viewers tuned in to watch designer Frances Quinn crowned queen baker in October.

The Great British Bake Off starts Wednesday 6 August on BBC One.

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