The eighth series of ‘The Great British Bake Off’ has finally arrived, which means another twelve amateur bakers are about to put themselves at the mercy of that tent - and judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith.
The standard on the new series - the first in the show’s new home on Channel 4 - is higher than ever before, according to judge Paul Hollywood, having already described the 12 hopefuls as “the best yet”.
High praise, indeed.
This year’s batch of about-to-become-very-very-famous home cooks, include a molecular biologist, an architect, a former Army officer, a 19-year-old student and the oldest contestant to ever take part.
The winner is here somewhere. Let’s say hello...
1. Kate, 29, Merseyside
Health and safety inspector
Kate is an amateur blacksmith, and enjoys furniture restoration, yoga and the outdoors. She’s a fan of “old-fashioned” baking techniques and taught herself to bake when she began to grow her own vegetables two years ago.
2. Peter, 52, Essex
IT programme manager
Born in Brixton, Peter lived in Nigeria from the age of seven and moved back to the UK when he was 24. He has a wife, Tito and two children - Temi and Toni. He’s been baking for eight years ago when he started making his own bread. His speciality are Macarons. He also loves running, spinning, playing chess and badminton.
3. Chris, 50, Bristol
Chris is a cancer survivor and passionate about helping other people whose lives have been affected by the disease. He’s married to Catherine and loves the science behind baking and developing quirky flavour combinations. His other loves include sailing, travelling and writing.
4. Flo, 71, Merseyside
Flo is the oldest contestant to appear on ‘Bake Off’ to date. She met her late husband Richard when she was 21 years old and working at a sausage factory. Following his death two years ago, her son Stephen encouraged her to take up baking. She bakes treats for his restaurant when she’s not baking for the family.
5. Steven, 34, Hertfordshire
Steven’s mum, Judi, has been his cooking mentor and likes putting a twist on the recipes from her old cookbooks. He lost an impressive five stone thanks to his own home-cooking.
6. Yan, 46, North London
Hong Kong-born Yan moved to the UK with her family when she was two and now lives in north London with her wife, Marian and cat Kacey. She started to bake seriously 10 years ago when she found herself in between 24 hour shifts, working as a for the NHS.
7. James, 46, Essex
James lives in Essex with his wife Ann, sons Oliver and Ethan and their three chickens: Sparkles, Superman and Jeff. He was taught to bake by his father more than 40 years ago and grows his own fruit and vegetables to incorporate into his recipes.
8. Sophie, 33, Surrey
Former Army Officer
The psychology graduate lives in Surrey with her boyfriend and a cat named Loki. As well as baking, Sophie enjoys track cycling, rowing, teaching military boot camps and is also training to be a stuntwoman. Sophie discovered her talent for baking when she volunteered to make a friend’s birthday cake.
9. Tom, 29, Edinburgh
Tom lives in Edinburgh with his partner David. Baking has always been a huge part of family life for Tom and his siblings, who were taught to bake by their mother, a home economics teacher. The family cherishes recipe books passed down by grandparents from both sides of the family.
10. Stacey, 42, Hertfordshire
Former school teacher
Stacey has fond memories of helping her grandmother make bread and butter pudding when she was a little girl, but it was during university that she really started to bake seriously. She likes to incorporate her Jewish heritage into her baking, with a traditional homemade Challah with every Friday night dinner.
11. Liam, 19, North London
Hackney-born Liam has been baking for four years and is fondly known as the ‘Cake Boy’ amongst his university friends. He believes that baking is a universal language that can bring people together from all walks of life, and he wants to make it acceptable amongst his peers and the younger generation.
12. Julia, 32, West Sussex
Originally from Kemerovo, Siberia, Julia met her husband Matt while on holiday in Turkey as a 17-year-old. She spent three years perfecting her baking skills so she could enter ‘Bake Off’.
‘The Great British Bake Off’ returns on Channel 4 on on Tuesday 29 August at 8pm.