Bake Off Stars: Where are they now?
Over the years, The Great British Bake Off has become much more than just a TV show. With its good-natured presenters (past and present), relatable contestants and inevitably emotional finale, watching Bake Off is like experiencing a cinematic hug, securing its place in the nation’s hearts.
Debuting in 2010, the show slowly became one of the most popular shows on British television, amassing an audience over 16 million viewers at its peak in 2016, sparking a national resurgence in the popularity of baking and providing us with a number of new cookery stars.
As the show returns for the eleventh series, we look back on some of the Great British Bake Off’s most memorable contestants and find out what they are up to now.
Known for her bold, Indian-inspired flavours, Chetna was a semi-finalist on the show’s fifth series. She’s since launched a popular cookery channel on YouTube and regularly contributes to delicious., as well as publishing three recipe books: The Cardamom Trail (2016), Chai, Chaat & Chutney (2017), and Chetna’s Healthy Indian (2019). In 2018, she was part of a group of 13 Bake Off contestants – the ‘baker’s dozen’ – who ran the London Marathon in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital. Follow her on Instagram @chetnamakan.
The youngest ever Bake Off contestant, Martha entered series five aged just 17, and went on to be a quarter-finalist. She showcased skill and experience far beyond her years, wowing the judges with her tiramisu swiss roll and mini beef wellingtons. She now writes a weekly column for Waitrose Weekend, often contributes to delicious., and has written two recipe books: Twist (2016) and Crave (2017). As well as running a popular baking blog, she is also an ambassador for the charity Tearfund. In April this year, she married Michael Haywood, with many of Bake Off co-stars in attendance – who each baked a cake in honour of the occasion. Follow her on Instagram @marthacollison.
The winner of series five, viewers came to know and love Nancy for her level head, wealth of knowledge, sharp sense of humour and collection of quirky baking tools lovingly made for her by husband Tim. A retired grandmother of nine, Nancy teaches baking at food shows across the country and regularly shares handy kitchen and household tips via her Instagram: @nancy.birtwhistle.
Remembered for her growth of confidence from week to week in the tent, Nadiya consistently impressed Mary and Paul with her creative, fun bakes, such as her ‘fizzy pop’ cheesecakes or bubblegum-flavoured religieuse à l’ancienne.
Since winning series six in 2015, Nadiya’s career has flourished, affirming herself as a true national treasure. She has written for national newspapers and magazines, as well as publishing four cookery books, three children’s books, and two novels.
Nadiya has also worked extensively in television, presenting Junior Bake Off and The Big Family Cooking Showdown, as well as her series own cooking shows and a documentary exploring anxiety. Nadiya was commissioned by Buckingham Palace to bake Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday cake, and in 2017 she was named one of the 500 most influential people in the UK by Debrett’s. This summer she released new cookery book Time to Eat, with an accompanying TV series on the BBC. Keep up with Nadiya on Instagram: @nadiyajhussain.
Find out more about Nadiya’s latest book on our podcast, here.
Since winning the first ever series of Bake Off back in 2010, Edd has published three baking books: The Boy Who Bakes (2011), Say it with Cake (2012) and Patisserie Made Simple (2015). He writes for a number of magazines and newspapers, runs a successful baking website and also produces popular foodie podcast, Stir the Pot. Follow him on Instagram @theboywhobakes.
A runner-up in 2017, Liam was series eight’s youngest contestant. He was a drama and theatre arts student at Goldsmiths, University of London whilst competing in the tent and popular for his cheeky personality and contemporary bakes.
Since then, Liam has written his first cookbook, Cheeky Treats: 70 Brilliant Bakes and Cakes, with another due this autumn, and writes a regular baking column for The Guardian. On top of this, he presented Liam Bakes on Channel 4 in 2018, and now co-presents Bake Off: The Professionals with comedian Tom Allen. Follow him on Instagram @liamcbakes.
A semi-finalist in 2016, Selasi was the heartthrob of series seven, beloved for his relaxed approached to baking. Since leaving the tent, Selasi still works as a banker in London, but took a sabbatical year to undertake a scholarship at the Culinary Arts Academy in Switzerland, where he earned a professional diploma in Swiss Pastry and Chocolate Arts.
In July 2017 he organised a fundraising dinner for the survivors of Grenfell, and later opened Selasi’s Bakes, a pop-up bakery, for one day only with Deliveroo. In 2018, he joined Chetna and others in running the London Marathon, raising money for children’s charity World Vision. Follow him on Instagram @selasigb.
A quarter finalist in series seven, Benjamina impressed the judges with her unique, contemporary flavours. She now works as a food stylist and recipe developer, and writes a successful baking blog, Carrot and Crumb.
With her sister, Bonita, she has also founded The Sister Table, a food and lifestyle brand, as well working as an ambassador for the social enterprise Luminary Bakery. Her debut cookbook will be released in November 2019. Follow her on Instagram @bakedbybenji.
Having won series seven of Bake Off in 2016, Candice went on to release her first book, Comfort: Delicious Bakes & Family Treats in 2017. Since then, she has regularly cooked on ITV’s This Morning and appeared on Dancing on Ice. She has recently bought and opened a gastropub, The Greenman, with her brother Ben in Eversholt, Bedfordshire. Follow her on Instagram @candicebrown.
Voted the public’s favourite-ever Bake Off contestant by Radio Times readers in 2016, Ruby was a finalist in series four, aged only 20. Since the show, she has written three books: Crumb (2014); Flavour: Eat What You Love (2016) and Eat Up (2018). She has written for The Guardian, Taste, Eater and Vice. Follow her on Instagram @ruby.tandoh.
The Scottish medical student (now NHS junior doctor) was a finalist in series three and is most remembered for his fair isle sweater collection and stress-free approach to baking. His first book, Brilliant Bread, won the Guild of Food Writers award for best cookbook in 2014. He has since published four more, with another due later this year, and has appeared on several TV shows, including Sunday Brunch and Big Fat Quiz of the Year. Follow him on Instagram @bakingjames.
As the show’s youngest ever semi-finalist, aged 19, Flora became known in series six for going the extra mile – making macarons to top her chocolate and passion fruit tart, or decorating her pistachio, apple and cardamom cake with homemade madeleines. After leaving the tent, she wrote for The Telegraph and The Scotsman, and published her first book, Gatherings, in 2017.
The underdog of series three, John went on to win Bake Off in 2012 in an all-male final, whilst sitting his university law finals during filming (impressively, he came out with a first-class degree). After the show, John studied a diploma in patisserie at Le Cordon Bleu in London and has gone on to write five cookery books, the most recent being A Flash in the Pan: Simple, Speedy, Stovetop Recipes.
John has also branched out into TV as resident chef on ITV’s Lorraine, as well as co-presenting Chopping Block with Rosemary Shrager. In 2014, after two years of renovations, John opened John Whaite’s Kitchen cookery school in his home county of Lancashire. Follow him on Instagram @john_whaite.
A finalist in series nine, Kim-Joy’s warm personality, quirky fashion sense and charming animal-themed bakes won her loyal fans. Since leaving the show, she continues to work in the mental health sector and – in her free time – pursues her love of board games. She writes a weekly baking column for The Guardian, and her first baking book, Kim-Joy’s Kitchen, is out this August. Follow her on Instagram @kimjoyskitchen.
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