Tuesday 24 October 2017

GBBO’s Andrew Smyth hopes new series will give people confidence in the kitchen

The baking star hopes the hit show will continue to “demystify” cooking for families.

Andrew Smyth (Paul Ellis/PA)
Andrew Smyth (Paul Ellis/PA)

By Francesca Gosling

Great British Bake Off finalist Andrew Smyth showed his support for the upcoming series as he praised all cooking shows for giving people confidence in the kitchen.

The 26-year-old aerospace engineer said he cannot wait to tune into the new series as it moves to Channel 4 for the first time this year, and hopes it will continue to inspire viewers.

He told the Press Association: “All of these shows give people confidence to give it a go and learn how to feed your family a well balanced meal on a budget.

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Andrew Smyth (Huw James/PA)

“If we can demystify cooking with warm personalities on the telly encouraging people to get in the kitchen, that can only be a good thing.

“I will absolutely watch the new show because it’s just pleasant viewing next to all the bad news in the world today – it’s just a nice thing to tune out to and enjoy with a cup of tea and a slice of cake on the side.

“There has been a lot of chatter in the press and people generally don’t like change, but I am going to give it a chance as we can’t know anything about the chemistry between the presenter or what it looks like before the first episode.

“I am eagerly anticipating the beginning to see what they’ve done with it and what has stayed the same.”

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Andrew (centre) and Jane Beedle (right) congratulate Candice Brown at the GBBO 2016 final (Mark Bourdillon/BBC/PA)

Smyth won hearts across the nation last year alongside winner Candice Brown, and contestants such as Jane Beedle, Val Stones and Selasi Gbormittah, who delighted fans with group selfies on social media after the final was aired.

Still all close friends, Smyth continued: “We all regularly chit-chat about what we are up to and we love to see each other being successful – we all rely on each other a lot, so it’s like our own little bakers’ support network.

“We’ve all been through the same thing and we’re all good friends so we can all be very honest with one another, it’s like having the best bakers in the country on speed dial.”

Explaining that the most important lesson he learnt from his time on the show was the importance of “just give it a go,” Smyth is spreading the world by joining the judging panel of a competition asking children aged eight-16 to design a new chocolate bar.

The #ISeeMore competition, by Mondelez International food company and the Institution of Engineering and Technology, will transform the winning entry into a real product and present the winner with an iPad mini and a trip to Cadbury World.

Smyth, who hopes to combine his passion for both food and engineering into television material, said: “We are looking for children to think about how the bar will be made and what will make it different – let your ideas run wild at the start and then reel it down to the practicalities.

“If I was a child I would be all over this, it’s like being a real-life Willy Wonka.”

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