The Great British Bake Off is back on our screens, as the 11th series kicks off tonight at 8.15pm (September 22nd).
Channel 4 will introduce us to 12 new bakers looking to lift the trophy.
What’s new in Great British Bake Off this year?
Bake Off will be subject to a slightly later start time tonight, to make room for Boris Johnson’s special annoucement.
Also it won’t just be new bakers striding into the tent.
Matt Lucas will replace Sandi Toksvig after she quit as co-host.
The comedian will join fan favourites Noel Fielding, Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood.
Let’s introduce you to the contestants that will be dominating our lives for the next few months.
Good luck to all of them!
Who are the contestants on Great British Bake Off?
Dave, 30, Hampshire
Armoured guard Dave admits that he rarely ventured into the kitchen and relied entirely on his mum’s cooking.
It was only when he flew the nest that he taught himself to cook.
Now living with his girlfriend, he loves filling his kitchen with fancy, colourful gadgets.
The guard even chooses his appliances with Bake Off in mind.
Dave bakes at least once a week, while listening to his favourite punk rock bands.
He says: “[I’m] looking forward to showing Paul and Prue my bakes and hearing those famous words: On your marks, get set… BAKE!”
Hermine, 39, London
Hermine was born and raised in Benin, West Africa.
She moved to London in 2001 to pursue further education.
Growing up, she used to love helping her mum bake for big family gatherings.
At the age of eight decided to go about it on her own.
French influence in Benin has instilled in Hermine a love of high-end pâtissérie – she enjoys baking intricate millefeuille, éclairs and entremets.
She says: “My strength is my understanding of how ingredients work together and how to get flavours right. My weakness is the ability to get a clean neat finish under time pressure.”
Laura, 31, Gravesend
A Gravesend girl born and bred, Digital Manager Laura began baking at around the age of eight but realised her flair for it only a few years ago.
She loves citrus and strong flavours, and enjoys putting a modern twist on old classics.
Laura thrives working under pressure and thinks her organised nature is what particularly suited her to taking part in Bake Off.
As a perfectionist she wants things to look faultlessly pretty and gorgeously dainty.
She says: “It was so surreal walking into the tent for the first time. My stomach was in knots and I was so nervous but excited at the same time.”
Linda, 61, East Sussex
Retired Living Team Leader Linda discovered her passion for baking during her frequent childhood visits to her aunt’s dairy farm.
She’d help to milk the cows, then carry a bucket of milk into the kitchen, where her aunt taught her to bake cakes topped with rich, creamy icing.
To this day Linda buys homegrown produce from another aunt’s fruit farm and uses it in her baking.
Her strengths are in the classics and in home-comfort cooking, like her signature sausage rolls.
She says: “I was so excited and I am still in a little shock. I just wanted to do my best and show people how much I loved to bake.”
Loriea, 27, Durham
Diagnostic Radiographer Loriea was born and raised in Jamaica, and uses baking as a means to celebrate her roots.
She began baking at age five with her maternal grandmother and later moved to the UK at 15.
This influence plays a big part in Loriea’s cooking style.
Loriea loves to include coconut, chillies and cinnamon in her food, and rarely follows a recipe exactly.
She says: “My strength is my cool and calm nature and my ability to work well under pressure.”
Who else is on this year’s Great British Bake Off?
Lottie, 31, West Sussex
Pantomime Producer Lottie’s Lancastrian great-grandmother was a frequent cake-baker and she believes that baking is in her blood.
When Lottie was little, she watched cooking shows rather than playing with her toys and was often to be found making notes from cookery books.
Calling herself a ‘perpetually frustrated perfectionist’.
While her baking has become more refined over time, she hopes it retains an element of her dark sense of humour.
She says: “I was most looking forward to meeting the other bakers and Noel and Matt. They didn’t disappoint!”
Makbul, 51, Greater Manchester
Accountant Makbul is a self-taught baker and first took on cooking at home as a means to help support his mum.
He has honed those early skills through watching TV shows, reading books and drawing inspiration from famous chefs.
Mak’s strengths lie in pastry (he says he’s better at puff than shortcrust); and, for celebrations such as Eid, he enjoys making traditional Asian nankhatai biscuits.
He says: “As a baker one of my biggest strengths is that I’m not daunted by much. I will have a go.”
Marc, 51, Cornwall
Sculptor Marc decided to enter Bake Off in a bid to show his daughters that even when life throws obstacles at you, you can rise to new challenges and develop new passions.
Born and raised in Leicester, keen climber Marc spent his youth travelling the world and conquering mountains, before settling back in the UK and becoming a landscape photographer.
Personal tragedy, including losing his leg in a motorbike accident in 2016, led him to baking bread as a form of therapy, and from there he came to baking cakes and pastries.
He says: “I was incredibly excited, happy and very, very nervous!”
Mark, 32, Liverpool
Northern Irish Project Manager Mark fell in love with baking at a pie shop in Edinburgh.
He visited every day while he was at university for the shop’s delicious Mac ’n’ Cheese pie.
Following that early inspiration, he began to experiment: first attempting (and perfecting) a lemon drizzle cake and eventually taking on multi-tiered wedding cakes, each time looking at the science of the bake in order to perfect it.
He says: “I think I am quite a versatile baker and always up for a challenge.”
Peter, 20, Edinburgh
With his parents and brother, student Peter grew up feasting on his mum’s home cooking.
It was Bake Off that inspired him to start baking for himself – he has watched every series since the first and has been baking seriously since he was only 12 years old.
Peter loves to honour his homeland in his cooking, using Scottish ingredients – including berries, whisky, oats and honey – whenever he can.
He says: “Just being in the tent with the judges, presenters and other bakers [was so exciting] and realising that I was ON THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF!
Meet the bakers
Rowan, 55, Worcestershire
Entirely self-taught, music teacher Rowan calls his baking style ostentatious and loves the subtlety of flavour, and the style and sophistication of French baking.
His love of the Georgian era encourages him to reinvent 18th-century recipes whenever he can.
He says: “My strengths are ambition in ideas and design. My weakness is over-ambition and no interest in timings!”
Sura, 31, London
Pharmacy Dispenser Sura grew up surrounded by family who offered food as a means to show affection, love and respect.
The many Middle Eastern and Asian influences in her heritage – including Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and India – mean she enjoys experimenting with ingredients and flavours from all over the world.
Never one to stick to a recipe, Sura loves to improvise in the kitchen and inject her bakes with as much personality as possible.
She says: “My strengths lie in flavour and balancing of flavours and also making small and dainty bakes, but my weakness is large multi tiered cakes.”
The new series of The Great British Bake Off starts Tuesday September 22 at 8.15pm on Channel 4