Tuesday 16 January 2018

Axed Bake Off contestant Paul Jagger regrets pastry panic

Mel Giedroyc prompted Bake Off contestant Paul Jagger to lose his rag
Mel Giedroyc prompted Bake Off contestant Paul Jagger to lose his rag

Great British Bake Off contestant Paul Jagger, who has been eliminated from the quarter-finals, has confessed he lost his temper at presenter Mel Giedroyc during filming - and still feels guilty about it.

Looking back on week six's showstopper challenge for pastry week, he recalled: " My worst moment had to be the vol-au-vents - it was a nightmare from start to finish. There were flour and eggs everywhere.

"Mel came across as I was cutting out the pastry shapes and she wanted to play noughts and crosses in the dough. But I had a sense of humour failure as the time pressure was getting to me. I still can't believe that I dissed Mel!"

The amateur baker, 49, had a banana disaster on this week's patisserie episode. His banana and custard cream horns disappointed judge Paul Hollywood, who is a big fan of the fruit and said he was "dying to taste it".

"I really wanted that banana," said a disappointed Hollywood, after sampling the pastry. "You built me up there, Paul, and just kicked me back."

Later, his religieuse a l'ancienne - a centrepiece of stacked eclairs shaped like a nun - had a total collapse, with his choux pastry too light to support the weight. Judge Mary Berry disapproved of the banana extract he used to ramp up the flavour on top of fresh banana, while Hollywood was not impressed with the taste of the fruit: "It's not going to blow your mind."

Jagger also struggled to create a batch of nine moccatines for the technical challenge, coming in last place with a bake which was "almost raw" and "like rubber", according to Hollywood. As his cake failed to rise, he admitted: "Which is the nearest exit out of the room, that's what I'm thinking... that's game over, really."

Prison governor Jagger revealed he was inspired to enter Bake Off by former contestant Richard Burr, a builder who was runner-up last year. " I have been interested in baking for the past 20 years and I have watched all of the series. I kept thinking I could do that, but it wasn't until watching Richard being the bloke baker that I thought I should apply," he said.

Jagger proved himself surprisingly deft at sugar craft and decoration. " I am quite blokeish and people find it unusual that I have tackled things like sugar craft," he said. "I have been in the Army and don't feel I have to prove myself in any way. My idea of relaxing and to enjoy myself is to create sugar roses, lilies, tropical flowers or anything that takes my fancy."

The competition is certainly different from his day job, the amateur baker said. "As soon as you walk into the tent you get prickles on the back of your neck, and for me it was a very different environment from my prison surroundings in an austere Victorian jail. In contrast, being in the tent with its light and airy atmosphere almost felt like being at a party.

"I went into work the day after the show and the prisoners were absolutely fantastic, all giving positive comments on how much they enjoyed the show."

Patisserie week was also tough on the competition's youngest baker, 19-year-old student Flora Shedden, who was lucky to escape elimination after presenting the judges with leaking cream horns, having stretched herself thin to create elaborate toppings. Her showstopper was also unable to stay upright and was criticised for lack of flavour.

Nadiya Jamir Hussain, 30, had a better week, winning "star baker" for the second time.

Although Berry struggled to stomach the bubblegum flavours in her showstopper, the stay-at-home mother came first in the technical challenge, creating moccatines labelled "a joy" by Berry.

Her rose pistachio and mocha hazelnut cream horns also impressed, with Berry declaring them "a cracker".

Press Association

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