The Great British Bake Off 2021: Meet the bakers

·8-min read
Photo credit: Mark Bourdillon - Channel 4
Photo credit: Mark Bourdillon - Channel 4

Pop on your aprons and hold on to your soggy bottoms because The Great British Bake Off has finally introduced their brand new bakers ready to battle it our for that prestigious cake stand.

The twelve contestants make for an interesting bunch this year, and include a Met Police Detective, a Quadrilingual Client Relationship Manager, and a retired nurse and midwife.

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Channel 4 has officially confirmed the show's launch date, which will be Tuesday, September 21st, at 8pm on Channel 4.

The first teaser trailer was also recently shared, which featured an arial shot of the iconic white tent, located on the grounds of Welford Park in Newbury. "Loaf is in the air...," Bake Off's official Twitter account tweeted. "The Great British Bake Off. Coming Soon."

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The much-loved series will feature the return of hosts by Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding, and judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith.

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We can't wait!

Here's everything we know about this year's Great British Bake Off so far...

The Great British Bake Off release date

Channel 4 have confirmed that GBBO will be back on-screen 21 September and Paul Hollywood shared the news on his instagram page.

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Speaking on Lorraine back in May, co-host Matt Lucas had revealed: "We're starting very soon. Like last year we're going into a bubble. All self-isolating and getting tested and then we’re going into COVID-free bubble, so we can all taste each other’s bakes and there can be handshakes and all sorts."

While we've yet to meet the contestants, Matt revealed that there are some talented budding bakers taking part this year. "I've seen the video clips of all the new bakers and there’s some brilliant ones in there."

Could we be about to witness another iconic lion bread?

The Great British Bake Off judges

Golden handshake purveyor Paul Hollywood will be returning as a judge alongside restaurateur and chef Prue Leith. In these Covid times, Paul might have to make do with a golden elbow tap instead...

Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas will be back to host proceedings.

We can't wait!

The Great British Bake Off contestants

Channel 4 has finally revealed the twelve budding bakers who will be competing for the prestigious cake stand. Let's meet them...

Amanda, 56

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From: London

Occupation: Met Police Detective

Channel 4 says: Raised in London with Greek-Cypriot heritage, Amanda studied graphic design at college and worked in advertising before moving to the Metropolitan Police to train as a detective. As a child she baked with her mum, and she learned specifically about Greek baking from her paternal auntie. Her style is generous and creative with Greek and Middle Eastern influences.

Chigs, 40

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From: Leicestershire

Occupation: Sales Manager

Channel 4 says: Despite a lifelong love of food, Chigs is relatively new to baking, only seriously embarking on his baking journey at the start of lockdown in 2020. Through the careful study of online videos, he managed to teach himself how to produce complex bakes and really intricate chocolate work. When it comes to baking, he loves a challenge and has no fear of being thrown in at the deep end – which is a pretty accurate reflection of his life!

Crystelle, 26

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From: London

Occupation: Client Relationship Manager

Channel 4 says: Quadrilingual Crystelle is a baker who brings her wonderfully diverse heritage – born in northwest London to Kenyan born, Portuguese-Goan parents – to the flavours in her baking. The youngest of three daughters, she was also the chief-taster as she helped her mother prepare their family meals. When she travels with friends, it’s her job to make a list of the best restaurants and bakeries in the cities they visit. She began baking seriously only three years ago and loves fusing spices from the places she’s visited into her bakes – a fougasse infused with turmeric, curry powder and spring onion is a firm favourite.

Freya, 19

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From: North Yorkshire

Occupation: Student

Channel 4 says: Freya has been dreaming of entering Bake Off since the first series, when she was nine and saw the tent in Bakewell. Studying for a psychology degree, Freya lives at home with her parents so that she can continue to care for her horse, Winnie, while she’s at university. Her passion for horses and baking are the result of spending lots of time with her grandma as she was growing up. A year ago, Freya began making plant-based versions of classic bakes for her dad – now it’s her goal to bake so that no one can tell the results are vegan.

George, 34

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From: London

Occupation: Shared Lives Co-ordinator

Channel 4 says: Londoner George grew up in a close-knit Greek-Cypriot family where food was always a big part of family life. Now married to his childhood sweetheart, he has three children and a house full of animals, including a dancing Japanese Spitz, called Eli. His mum taught him to bake (a legacy he's now passing on to his own children), and he loves all the Greek classics. His flavours often include home-grown herbs and he likes to give his bakes a touch of class with a shabby-chic, vintage vibe.

Giuseppe, 45

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From: Bristol

Occupation: Chief Engineer

Channel 4 says: Originally from Italy, Giuseppe now lives in Bristol with his wife and their three young (and noisy!) sons. His love for baking comes from his father, a professional chef who did all the cooking at home as Giuseppe was growing up, including making a cake every Sunday. Inspired by this Italian heritage, Giuseppe loves using Italian flavours in his bakes, while he also brings his engineer’s precision to the results. A self-confessed food snob, he is determined to feed his children homemade confectionary, rather than anything that's been mass-produced.

Jairzeno, 51

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From: London

Occupation: Head of Finance

Channel 4 says: For Trinidadian-born Jairzeno, "baking is like breathing"! He started baking in 2014, after becoming disillusioned with delicious-looking bakes that just didn’t deliver on flavour – and now, in his own baking, he obsesses over flavour combinations (guava and chocolate is a firm favourite), using lots of Caribbean spices, and aiming for the perfect pâtissérie finish. Jairzeno moved to the UK from Trinidad & Tobago 15 years ago and now lives in London. He has completed multiple half marathons across Europe, and ran the London Marathon in 2012.

Jürgen, 56

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From: Sussex

Occupation: IT Professional

Channel 4 says: Originally from the Black Forest in Germany, Jürgen moved to the UK in 2003 and now lives with his wife and son overlooking the sea. Unable to find traditional German bread in his adopted home, Jürgen decided to bake his own – and his passion for baking has grown ever since. He is particularly well-known for his Jewish challah bread, and for the celebration cakes that he loves to bake for friends and family. He approaches baking like the physicist he is – making calculations that help to ensure the utmost precision and perfect results.

Lizzie, 28

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From: Liverpool

Occupation: Car Production Operative

Channel 4 says: Lizzie and her partner live with their dog, Prudence, in an annex in her parents garden . A baker who prefers simple presentation and believes in flavour and quantity over precision, Lizzie may look like she’s frantic and messy on the outside, but she is usually calm and collected within. Her baking comfort zone is cake, but she loves experimenting with flavour and is generally prepared to give anything a go… as long as it doesn’t involve putting cheese in bread, which she thinks can only spell disaster.

Maggie, 70

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From: Dorset

Occupation: Retired Nurse & Midwife

Channel 4 says: Having grown up surrounded by family who constantly cooked and baked, Maggie finds that baking comes naturally to her. She has an impressive collection of classic recipe books and loves recreating traditional bakes while at the same time experimenting with exciting flavours. Her favourite thing to bake is bread – it never occurs to her to buy a loaf (or a cake!). A retired midwife, Maggie believes the excitement of delivering a baby can only be excellent preparation for taking part in Bake Off!

Rochica, 27

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From: Birmingham

Occupation: Junior HR Business Partner

Channel 4 says: With a big Jamaican family on both sides, Rochica bakes in a way that reflects her Caribbean heritage: with flavour, passion and love. She always is especially proud when her nan and aunties tell her she has baked a cake that reminds them of the treats they grew up with. A dancer from the age of two, Rochica's interest in baking developed when she was left unable to dance due to an injury.

Tom, 28

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From: Kent

Occupation: Software Developer

Channel 4 says: Although he proudly remembers his place as the only boy in his primary school baking club, Tom discovered his true passion for baking a mere four years ago, when he made his dad a sticky toffee pudding cake. Now he bakes several times a week, rustling up everything from pies and quiches to bread. His mum describes him as the "midnight baker" before he moved out of the family home, she would often wake up to a sweet treat… and a pile of washing up! Tom likes to take the foundations of a recipe and make it his own, creating bakes that are fun and often follow a theme.

The Great British Bake Off returns to Channel 4 on Tuesday, September 21st at 8pm.

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