By Emma Dooney
Great British Bake Off is finally back with a fresh batch of delicious cakes, side-splitting banter, and of course—brand new contestants.
Season 12 of the popular cooking show will welcome 12 amateur chefs as they compete for the weekly title of Star Baker, in the long road to crown this season's winner.
The Great British Bake Off start date was announced after months of anticipation and fans are delighted to hear that the show kicks off on Tuesday, September 21 2021!
Veteran judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood are back to give the culinary protégées their expert feedback, and Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas returning as co-presenters. But who are the contestants? Here is a rundown of the bakers, all of whom are hand-selected by producers through a rigorous interview process.
Great British Bake Off contestants 2021
Just like its last few seasons, Great British Bake Off 2021 will feature 12 contestants. The full list of the lucky people cast for the 12th round of the Channel 4 show is as follows.
- Amanda, 56, London
- Chigs, 40, Leicestershire
- Crystelle, 26, London
- Freya, 19, North Yorkshire
- George, 34, London
- Giuseppe, 45, Bristol
- Jairzeno, 51, London
- Jurgen, 56, Sussex
- Lizzie, 28, Liverpool
- Maggie, 70, Dorset
- Rochica, 27, Birmingham
- Tom, 28, Kent
Police detective Amanda discovered her love for baking from her mother and auntie when she was a child, and continues to enjoy the hobby as an adult.
Her dishes are heavily influenced by her paternal Greek-Cypriot heritage and often feature intricate designs and patterns—courtesy of her background in graphic design. Looks like her competitors will have to watch out—Amanda’s about to whip out some seriously arresting treats.
Sales manager Chigs may be relatively new to the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean he can’t take the heat.
The Leicestershire adventure man taught himself the basics of baking using online tutorials during lockdown, and has since mastered the art of creating intricate chocolate work and sophisticated cakes.
Client relationship manager Crystelle might not be a Michelin star chef, but she’s no newbie either.
This self-confessed stressor has plenty of baking experience under her belt, having spent the last three years creating recipes inspired by her Kenyan and Portuguese-Goan heritage.
19-year-old Psychology student Freya has been a lifelong fan of Bake Off and has dreamt of being cast on the series since she was nine years old.
This Gen-Z baking enthusiast brings a plant-based edge to the tent, specializing in vegan editions of the nation’s most loved treats. She’s also a self-admitted ‘massive perfectionist’ so there’ll be little tolerance for mistakes once she gets going.
Dad of three George loves baking for his kids, having learned the skill from his own mum growing up.
He often jazzes up his dishes with home-grown herbs for the ultimate signature finish, and, just like Freya, he holds himself to high expectations. Burnt edges are an absolute no-no for this chef!
As the son of a professional chef, Giuseppe knows a thing or two about cooking. The Bristol-based Italian uses his native flavors to give his baked treats a special twist and isn’t shy about calling himself a ‘food snob’.
Guiseppe is also a Type A personality when it comes to his dishes, employing his engineering background to create the perfect finish.
Jairzeno fell in love with baking seven years ago after becoming routinely disappointed with shop-bought bakes.
To the Trinidadian-born Londoner, ‘baking is like breathing’ and he’s always on the hunt to find the next best flavor combo.
Sadly Jairzeno was the second contestant who left the Great British Bake off this week.
Unlike many of his competitors, Jürgen from GBBO found his baking passion purely by accident. After struggling to find traditional German bread in his new home of Sussex, he decided to have a lash at making his own recipe—and sure enough, a love affair with dough and batter was born.
Rather than freestyling his creations, he likes to bake by numbers and figures to optimize a successful outcome. Sounds logical to us!
Hailing from Liverpool, Lizzie is a car production operative by day and with an enthusiastic baker by night.
She admittedly appears a little chaotic on the outside, but when it comes to her inner baking strategies, she’s pretty zen. With a belief in the power of quantity over accuracy, for Lizzie, more truly is more.
Retired nurse Maggie is the season’s oldest contestant at the age of 70—and with decades of baking experience behind her, it looks like she’ll be tough competition.
The former midwife’s specialty is bread, so you can bet she and Jürgen are likely to go head-to-head if they both make it to Bread Week! But do they have what it takes to become one of Great British Bake Off's most successful bakers? Only time will tell.
HR business manager Rochica took up baking after she was left injured by a dance injury in her youth, only to awaken a brand new talent.
Rochica loves to infuse her cakes with flavors from her Caribbean heritage, especially when she’s cooking for her beloved nephews and nieces.
An enthusiastic runner, Tom has been fuelling his active lifestyle with plenty of homemade treats since childhood. He takes pride in the fact he was the only male member of his primary school’s bakery club to this day and has continued to work on his craft into adulthood.
In fact, Tom loves baking so much that he often whips up pies and quiches in the middle of the night when he can’t sleep. Tom sounds like the exact type of person you want in your guest bedroom!
Emma is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.
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