The stars of Great British Bake Off: Uni student Rowan who baked his own three-tier 21st birthday cake, self-professed untidy baker Dana and show mega fan Keith

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The Great British Bake Off returns to Channel 4 on Tuesday night, with a whole new crop of cake creators.

This series welcomes the tent’s first ever deaf contestant – Tasha from Bristol – as well as student Rowan, 21, who baked his own three tier 21st birthday cake and chemist Josh – a stickler for the right measurements.

A peruse of the baking hopefuls Instagram accounts reveals a plethora of jaw-dropping creations from their home kitchens.

So who will be bringing that flair to the famous tent and receive the famous winning apron, as well as a Hollywood Handshake? 

Ready, set, bake! The Great British Bake Off returns to Channel 4 on Tuesday night, with a whole new crop of cake creators including Database administrator Dana from Essex

Ready, set, bake! The Great British Bake Off returns to Channel 4 on Tuesday night, with a whole new crop of cake creators including Database administrator Dana from Essex

Competition: Launching at 8:00pm on Channel 4 on Tuesday 26 September, Great British Bake Off will see 12 amateur but passionate bakers battling it out in a desperate bid to win

Competition: Launching at 8:00pm on Channel 4 on Tuesday 26 September, Great British Bake Off will see 12 amateur but passionate bakers battling it out in a desperate bid to win

Heading to the tent: University student Rowan already has a life motto ready to apply to his bakes - 'Go big, or go home'

Heading to the tent: University student Rowan already has a life motto ready to apply to his bakes – ‘Go big, or go home’

Student Rowan already has a life motto to apply to his bakes – ‘Go big, or go home’.

The English Literature student loves to wows his uni housemates with his elaborate creations for their birthdays and when it came to his own 21st celebrations there was only one person he trusted to bake a  three-tier, 12-layer extravaganza – himself.

Rowan has already published his own cookbook named The Salubrious Student which he explains ‘relies on cheap, affordable, accessible ingredient.’

The 3rd year student loves hosting dinner parties with his uni pals and told his student magazine Viva Voce that he decided to publish his cookbook when ‘holiday loneliness’ set in during his breaks from uni. 

‘We go from always talking to someone our own age to just being with our parents. Especially for me being an only child, it’s difficult… It was a little passion project of mine.’

Rowan is also a passionate photographer and snaps incredible photos of his bakes for his book and his social media. 

Like Rowan, database administrator Dana’s passion for baking also started at a young age.

At the age of 16 when she identified a gap in her family’s traditionally Indian culinary repertoire. 

As a self-professed untidy baker, Dana would avoid stepping on her mum’s toes in the kitchen by catching the bus to her dad’s house to indulge her need to experiment with her bakes. 

Now she has a kitchen of her own, Dana has become the family’s go-to celebration cake-maker, sharing photos of her rustic bakes, and her proud family, on her Instagram account. 

Wow! The English Literature student loves to wows his uni housemates with his elaborate creations and when it came to his own 21st celebrations there was only one person he trusted to bake a three-tier, 12-layer extravaganza - himself

Wow! The English Literature student loves to wows his uni housemates with his elaborate creations and when it came to his own 21st celebrations there was only one person he trusted to bake a three-tier, 12-layer extravaganza – himself

Student: Rowan has already published his own cookbook named The Salubrious Student which he explains 'relies on cheap, affordable, accessible ingredient.'

Student: Rowan has already published his own cookbook named The Salubrious Student which he explains ‘relies on cheap, affordable, accessible ingredient.’

Josh, 27, from Leicestershire is a chemist by trade and brings his scientist’s precision and keenness to experiment into the kitchen, taking careful notes on each part of the baking process and perfecting all his techniques for gorgeous results. 

He likes to take his inspiration from old baking books, reinventing classics to give them a modern twist, often by introducing alternative flavours and including the seasonal fruit and vegetables from his kitchen garden. 

Josh has been playing rugby for his local team for more than 15 years, and once a month he bakes lots of treats to reward his teammates after a rigorous training session. 

There’s also a few Bake Off mega fans in the mix including Keith, 60, a chartered accountant who apparently owns cookbooks written by five different former Bake Off contestants.

To give himself a challenge, Keith recently returned to the baking books of the early 1970s to attempt recipes that were once ‘beyond’ him. 

Creations: Database administrator Dana's passion for baking started at the age of 16 when she identified a gap in her family's traditionally Indian culinary repertoire

Creations: Database administrator Dana’s passion for baking started at the age of 16 when she identified a gap in her family’s traditionally Indian culinary repertoire

Close: Dana has become the family's go-to celebration cake-maker, sharing photos of her rustic bakes, and her proud family, on her Instagram account

Close: Dana has become the family’s go-to celebration cake-maker, sharing photos of her rustic bakes, and her proud family, on her Instagram account

Talent: As a self-professed untidy baker, Dana would avoid stepping on her mum's toes in the kitchen by catching the bus to her dad's house to indulge her need to experiment with her bakes

Talent: As a self-professed untidy baker, Dana would avoid stepping on her mum’s toes in the kitchen by catching the bus to her dad’s house to indulge her need to experiment with her bakes

Talented baker: There's also a few Bake Off mega fans in the mix including Keith, 60, a chartered accountant who owns cookbooks written by five different former contestants

Talented baker: There’s also a few Bake Off mega fans in the mix including Keith, 60, a chartered accountant who owns cookbooks written by five different former contestants

Chemist: Josh, 27, from Leicestershire is a chemist by trade and brings his scientist's precision and keenness to experiment into the kitchen,

Chemist: Josh, 27, from Leicestershire is a chemist by trade and brings his scientist’s precision and keenness to experiment into the kitchen,

Sportsman: Josh has been playing rugby for his local team for more than 15 years, and once a month he bakes lots of treats to reward his teammates

Sportsman: Josh has been playing rugby for his local team for more than 15 years, and once a month he bakes lots of treats to reward his teammates

Meanwhile The Great British Bake Off presenters have learnt sign language as the show welcomes its first ever deaf contestant. 

Tasha, 27, is a participation officer from Bristol and will be joining the show with her BSL interpreter, Daryl. 

She said: ‘When I had the Zoom call to tell me I was one of the 12, I cried. Daryl also cried. We were a mess.’ 

To prepare for Tasha’s time on the show, Dame Prue Leith, Paul Hollywood, Noel Fielding and his new co-host Alison Hammond have all learned basic sign language. 

A keen horserider, Tasha shares her passion for travel on her Instagram account as well as her home bakes.

Groundbreaking: The Great British Bake Off presenters have learnt sign language as the show welcomes its first ever deaf contestant - Tasha

Groundbreaking: The Great British Bake Off presenters have learnt sign language as the show welcomes its first ever deaf contestant – Tasha 

Tasha, 27, is a participation officer from Bristol and will be joining the show with her BSL interpreter, Daryl

Tasha, 27, is a participation officer from Bristol and will be joining the show with her BSL interpreter, Daryl

Civil engineering resource planner Dan has also got a passion for travelling, with his interest in cooking beginning when he went travelling in South America in 2007.

When he’s not baking, he loves to play football with his two young sons, work out in the gym, or forage for edible treats in the countryside around his home. 

He is also a keen home brewer. 

Civil engineering resource planner Dan has also got a passion for travelling, with his interest in cooking beginning when he went travelling in South America in 2007

Civil engineering resource planner Dan has also got a passion for travelling, with his interest in cooking beginning when he went travelling in South America in 2007

Intelligence analyst, Sri Lankan-born Saku places the traditional flavours of her heritage at the heart of her baking – particularly the curry spices, which she claims make for the best pie fillings. 

Her Instagram account is crammed full of delicious Srki Lankan dishes as well as her sweeter bakes. 

At her family home in Sri Lanka, Saku didn’t have an oven until she was 18, so she turned to baking only when she moved with her husband to the UK, in 2003, and particularly when she became a mum – rustling up treats for her children’s lunchboxes by replicating the snacks she saw in the supermarket. 

Wow! Intelligence analyst, Sri Lankan-born Saku places the traditional flavours of her heritage at the heart of her baking

Wow! Intelligence analyst, Sri Lankan-born Saku places the traditional flavours of her heritage at the heart of her baking

Nature lover: Yorkshire-born Abbi takes her inspiration from her environment and the beautiful English countryside around her home

Nature lover: Yorkshire-born Abbi takes her inspiration from her environment and the beautiful English countryside around her home

Haul: A lover of the great outdoors, she forages for seasonal ingredients – the bigger and bolder, the better – and puts her homegrown veg to good use

Haul: A lover of the great outdoors, she forages for seasonal ingredients – the bigger and bolder, the better – and puts her homegrown veg to good use

Yorkshire-born Abbi is a vegetable grower and delivery driver, and first learned to bake alongside her mother, honing those early skills during her teens, when she became enthralled by the Victorian era and especially the traditional bakes of the time – steamed puddings, fruit cakes and more. 

Now she takes her inspiration from her environment and the beautiful English countryside around her home. 

A lover of the great outdoors, she forages for seasonal ingredients – the bigger and bolder, the better – and puts her homegrown veg to good use. 

The Great British Bake Off kicks off on Tuesday September 26 on Channel 4. 

GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF 2023: WHO ARE THE CONTESTANTS?

Tasha 

Age: 27

Occupation: Participation officer

From: Bristol

Bake Off presenters have learnt sign language as the show welcomes its first ever deaf contestant. 

Tasha, 27, is a participation officer from Bristol and will be joining the show with her BSL interpreter, Daryl. 

She said: ‘When I had the Zoom call to tell me I was one of the 12, I cried. Daryl also cried. We were a mess.’ 

Amos 

Age: 43 

Occupation: Deli and grocery manager

From: North London

Amos describes his bakes as a labour of love – his style is colourful and chic with keen attention to detail, and he loves exploring different flavour profiles. 

He compares his baking style to the converted church that he now lives in, calling both his style and home ‘traditional with a modern twist’.

Rowan 

Age: 21

Occupation: University student 

From: West Yorkshire

‘Go big, or go home’ is student Rowan’s motto, and one that he has always applied to his bakes. 

A student of English literature, when he’s not writing up a storm, Rowan is also a keen host, applying his creative eye to his cooking. 

Abbi 

Age: 27

Occupation: Vegetable grower and delivery driver

From: Cumbria

A lover of the great outdoors, she forages for seasonal ingredients and puts her homegrown veg to good use. 

Abbi’s bakes aim to combine comfort and familiarity with a strong nod towards nature, and a feeling of creating something magical – bakes with a touch of fairytale.

Cristy 

Age: 33

Occupation: PA

From: East London

For Cristy, life with four children means that there always seems to be a birthday to bake for and an exciting party to plan. 

She describes her baking style as enchanted and pretty – bakes that conjure up a sense of childhood. 

Dan 

Age: 42

Occupation: Civil engineering resource planner

From: Cheshire

Perfectionist Dan loves a baking challenge and will often find the hardest bake in one of his 300 cook books. 

When he’s not baking, he loves to play football with his two young sons or forage for edible treats in the countryside. 

Dana 

Age: 25

Occupation: Database administrator

From: Essex

She loves a semi-naked cake with neat lines, pretty piping and minimalist decoration; and although she likes to keep her flavours safe, Dana will often incorporate a twist or two, adding in familiar spices associated with her Indian heritage. 

Josh

Age: 27

Occupation: Post-doctoral research associate

From: Leicestershire

Post-doctoral research associate Josh is a chemist by trade and brings his scientist’s precision and keenness to experiment into the kitchen, taking careful notes on each part of the baking process. 

Keith 

Age: 60

Occupation: Chartered accountant

From: Hampshire

Keith has a penchant for apple pies and fairy cakes – which he learned to bake with his mum.

The treats form the baking backdrop to Keith’s childhood, along with his mum’s love for traditional dishes from her home in Malta. 

Matty 

Age: 28

Occupation: PE and science teacher

From: Cambridgeshire

He describes his style as rustic but neat, and his flavour preferences as quite traditional – he particularly loves chocolate, citrus and nuts. 

Once his days in the tent are over, his nex challenge will be to make his own wedding cake.

Nicky 

Age: 52

Occupation: Retired cabin crew and volunteer

From: West Midlands

Her favourite bakes are pastries, but she also loves making  fun birthday cakes for her niece and grandchildren. 

When she’s not baking, Nicky volunteers for a pet-therapy charity along with her dog Bracken and loves to ski, which she has been doing since she was only three years old.

Saku 

Age: 50

Occupation: Intelligence analyst

From: Herefordshire

At her family home in Sri Lanka, Saku didn’t have an oven until she was 18, so she turned to baking only when she moved with her husband to the UK, in 2003. 

Self-taught, she relishes using her homegrown ingredients from her vegetable patch. 




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