ENTERTAINMENT
20/08/2019 00:01 BST

Great British Bake Off 2019 Contestants Revealed, Including A Fashion Designer, Vet And HGV Driver Entering The Tent

But who will impress judges Prue and Paul?

This year’s batch of Great British Bake Off contestants have been unveiled ahead of the new series, which launches later this month.

The 13 amateur cooks (a baker’s dozen, no less) who will be entering the famous tent include a fashion designer, a vet, a fitness instructor and a HGV driver, in one of the most varied line-ups yet. 

Channel 4
This year's baker's dozen with hosts Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig and judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith.

They will be competing week-by-week in a series of challenges, in the hope of impressing judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith

Hosts Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding will also be on hand again to provide a congratulatory hug after a brilliant bake, a shoulder to cry on after a cookery calamity and plenty of laughs along the way.

Get to know the 2019 contestants a little better below...

Alice, 28, London - Geography Teacher

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Alice

Alice grew up in a riverside town in Essex. At 15 years old, while recovering from a back operation for scoliosis and no longer able to do sport, she turned her hand to baking – and perfected the fruit pavlova while she was living in New Zealand in her early 20s, where she also attended art school. After returning to the UK, she trained to be a Geography teacher.

Now living in East London, she uses cakes in her lessons – demonstrating everything from coastal erosion to volcanic activity. She loves making highly decorative layered cakes for her friends and family. Her baking style is intricate and delicate, full of flavour and enthusiasm – and has to make people go ‘wow!’

Dan, 32, Rotherham - Support Worker

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Dan

Dan is predominantly a self-taught baker, but has fond memories of his mum showing him how to bake a Victoria sponge as a child and his army chef dad coming to school to teach how to plait and bake bread. He got serious about baking at age 21 in a bid to impress his then girlfriend (now wife) with a themed birthday cake.

Born in Worksop and raised in Rotherham, Dan lives just 20 minutes away from where he grew up, with wife Laura and their three dogs. Dan’s favourite part of the baking process is decoration and he loves producing awe-inspiring bakes. He made his own wedding cake and says the thing he is most proud of making is a towering croquembouche.

Amelia, 24, Halifax - Fashion designer

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Amelia

Amelia has been baking for 19 years – watching her mum and grandma creating beautiful cake decorations inspired her to start baking as a child. Born to a Caribbean father and British/half-Polish mother, Amelia grew up in Halifax and studied in Leeds and Leicester. She honed her baking skills while at university, baking for friends and college fundraising events.

Now living in London and working as a sportswear designer, Amelia draws on her northern roots to inspire her baking and believes that freshly farmed produce is essential for a satisfying bake. One of her proudest bakes is a snow leopard cake that she baked for her nephew’s fifth birthday – a Madeira and a chocolate sponge with intricately designed tiger and snow-leopard faces.

David, 36, London - International Health Adviser

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David

David grew up in rural Yorkshire, where his mum (who baked all the time – the family never ate a shop-bought loaf at home) inspired him to start baking. His passion was further developed by his travels to Malawi (among other places) with his work as a Health Advisor, where he learnt to build an oven out of an oil drum and invented a cake that could steam cook over a village fire.

David studied art and design before switching to nursing. When he’s not travelling the world for work, he lives in London and has lots of hobbies like cycling and ceramics. David’s baking repertoire is broad, but his strengths lie in bread. He’s not into fancy, colourful icings, but prefers robust flavours and good, solid bakes.

Helena, 40, Leeds - Online Project Manager

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Helena

Helena spent much of her childhood watching her Spanish grandmother cook and bake, but it was only after moving to Las Vegas as part of an exchange scheme at school and living with a Mormon family that Helena really started baking. She was born in Ceuta (an independent Spanish city in north Africa), raised in Lanzarote and studied in mainland Spain. During her degree she moved to Leeds on an exchange, where she now lives with her husband and baby daughter.

Helena likes to use American flavours, such as pumpkin, pecans, maple and cinnamon in her bakes. She also likes to use traditional Spanish flavours, including almond and paprika, as well as incorporating her passion for all things Halloween into her baking creations.

Henry, 20, Durham - Student

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Henry

Henry’s love of baking and all things culinary began at the age of 12, when he became fascinated by the baking activity taking place in the beautiful Bake Off tent which fortuitously pitched up in his local park. He began to experiment on his family, friends and teachers with a huge variety of bakes, developing a style of bake that is elegant and composed of delicate, carefully combined flavours.

He now tests out his culinary skills on the discerning student palates of his university house mates at Durham University where he is studying English Literature.

Michelle, 35, Wales - Print Shop Administrator

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Michelle

Michelle first fell in love with baking as a child watching her mother doing traditional baking at home. She grew up on a farm and now lives in the seaside town of Tenby with her husband and teenage son.

Michelle bakes almost every other day – whether that’s making a simple loaf to have for breakfast or something sweet to eat for dessert. She loves experimenting with flavour combinations and using seasonal vegetables from her own vegetable patch. Her bakes are precise and finessed, and created with an emphasis on good-quality, local produce.

Jamie, 20, Surrey - Part-time waiter

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Jamie

Jamie’s grandma and parents taught him the baking basics, but it was after an episode of Bake Off inspired him to make a plaited loaf that his baking aspirations really took hold. 

Born and raised with his identical twin brother in Surrey, Jamie is working as a part-time waiter in the lead-up to studying Sports Science at university. He happily takes on more technically difficult bakes, such as a croquembouche and croissants and has a fairly traditional approach to his flavours – although he likes to experiment with what he can find in the house.

Priya, 34, Leicester - Marketing Consultant

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Priya

Priya’s first foray into baking started with an after-school baking club at primary school. Then, ten years ago she began baking more seriously as means to help her relax. When she was given a stand mixer as a wedding gift seven years ago, she went ‘baking bonkers’. She now bakes with such enthusiasm that she’s been known to bake bread well into the night and delivers bags of bakes to appreciative friends and family.

A freelance marketing consultant and self-confessed perfectionist, Priya lives in her home town of Leicester with her husband and two children, and is writing her first novel. She’s recently started experimenting with vegan baking and loves tropical, fruity flavours. When her kids are older, she’d love to travel the world tasting sweet and savoury treats – a sort of ’around the world in 80 bakes’.

Michael, 26, Stratford-upon-Avon - Theatre manager/fitness instructor

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Michael

Michael’s mother taught him to bake, encouraging him to learn from old, handwritten recipes passed down from his mother’s grandparents. He was born in Newcastle, but considers himself Scottish as he moved to Scone in Scotland at age seven and studied in Edinburgh.

In his baking, though, he is especially inspired by the flavours of his Indian heritage. He now works as a manager at a prestigious theatre company in Stratford-upon-Avon. Michael has attempted pretty much every discipline in baking, but his strengths lie in cakes and pastry.

Rosie, 28, Somerset - Veterinary Surgeon

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Rosie

Rosie’s baking passions began when she was given a children’s baking book at age five. She grew up in a small town in Oxfordshire and studied at Cambridge. She now lives in Somerset with her childhood-sweetheart husband and many animals.

When Rosie’s not treating drunken hedgehogs, performing spleen surgery on dogs, or on call, she’ll be baking through the night to unwind and keep the practice nurses well-fed. With a love of patisserie, a little box of mixed pastries is Rosie’s ‘go-to’ bake. Her baking is inspired by her rural surroundings, from the orchards next door, to the fresh eggs laid by her ducks and chickens.

Phil, 56, Essex, HGV Driver

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Phil

Phil was introduced to the joys of baking bread in his home economics class at school, but it wasn’t until six years ago that he started to take baking seriously. He now bakes four or five times a week, frequently making focaccia, granary bread and brioche, but also pastry (he likes the challenge of hot-water crust, puff and choux).

Phil grew up in Barking, training to be a driver at age 17. He now lives in Rainham, with his wife and two daughters. Working the early shifts means that Phil can spend the rest of his day preparing some of the family meals and baking treats for his family and friends. He is passionate about motorbikes and always turns up for biking meetings with bakes. He has been working really hard on his decoration and piping techniques over the last year and now also loves to create really delicately decorated cakes.

Steph, 28, Chester - Shop Assistant

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Steph

Steph’s grandad got her baking with his love of homemade bread. She’s always loved making a mess in the kitchen, but she has been baking with a vengeance for the past three or so years. She is primarily self-taught and considers herself an ‘intermediate, still-learning’ baker.

Steph lives in Chester with her mum, and her passion for sports and wellness inspires her baking: she enjoys the challenge of making her bakes healthier, adding vegetables or fruits, lowering the refined sugar content and prioritising more nutritional fats. Biscuits are Steph’s go-to bake – she relishes the challenge of creating a better version of a supermarket favourite – but her signature bake is her sourdough loaf using her starter, which she calls ‘Sammy’.

The new series of The Great British Bake Off will return to Channel 4 on Tuesday 27 August at 8pm.

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