What persuaded you to apply to be on the Bake off?
My friends and I used to watch it and they said ‘you could do that if you practised’, and I thought why not! I didn’t tell my parents until I’d submitted the form because it was crazy and I never thought I’d get onto the programme. And then a few rounds of auditions later I was in the final twelve and it was all a bit scary.
What’s been the best part of being on the Bake Off?
It has to be meeting the other twelve bakers, meeting so many people with a common interest, just making friends with them, after you spend those weekends, plus the evenings before, you get really close and it becomes like a family, we started having fun and relax a lot more.
Have you been able to balance studying and baking?
I think both my exams and my baking started to suffer a little bit I just wasn’t devoting enough time to either. I definitely tried to relax and stay calm and prayed about it and it all worked out just fine, I managed to pass my exams and I‘m doing okay on the Bake Off so far so it’s worked out really well for me.
What goes through your head when you’re told to make a Swedish Princess cake?
My first reaction to the Swedish Princess Cake was that two hours is really not a very long time to make any cake, let alone one that has fourteen steps. That was a really tough one. But I did like the technicals a lot more than I think the others did because nobody could practice and do it beforehand, everyone was in the same boat, if it was a really hard one we could just laugh about it.
What’s the most ambitious thing you’d baked before you came on the show?
I did a wedding cake when I was 16, which was quite nerve wracking and I’m very thankful to the lovely couple that allowed me to do that – not many couples would be relaxed enough to let a 16 year old bake their wedding cake, so that was a definite step from going to just making cupcakes at the weekend to making a wedding cake.
What’s been your worst baking disaster – and have you ever got so annoyed you throw it into the bin?
When I was practicising for the custard tart in week 4 it was just not one of my favourite things, my mum doesn’t like custard, I don’t make that much pastry and I kept making loads that would leak or that would crack and lots of those went in the bin.
How did you cope with the stress of the competition – did your faith help?
I think having my faith in God definitely helped out during the stress because there was so much on my plate to juggle, being at school, being picked for Head Girl, doing Bake Off, and going to church, it was really tricky to manage, but to have a quiet time when you’re reading the Bible and praying – it takes your mind off it, and helps you to be a bit at ease.
How did the other contestants react to your faith – did it cause much comment?
I think it did a little bit because in between two of the weeks I went to the Big Church Day Out volunteering for a weekend, and they were practising their socks off – because it’s a big competition you want to do well in – and I was at a festival with my friends volunteering, and they asked a few questions about that. It wasn’t massive, mostly we just talked about baking.
How have you found the attention you’ve received – has anyone come up to you in the street to ask for an autograph or a selfie?
I never ever thought that I would have my picture taken by other people or autographs or stuff, but it happens all the time now. It’s so funny, I forget, I’m still me, I’m just a normal seventeen year old, I go out in the street and people stop me and they, people are so lovely to me, they say really nice things and it’s really lovely. I went shopping yesterday and I think five people stopped me and took pictures, it’s really strange, I feel so normal.
What difference has being on the Bake Off made to your life?
Being on the Bake Off, it has made me grow up because I’ve had quite an easy life – not that now my life is hard – but it’s been something to be put into the adult world of TV and radio and having to speak in front of people, and not be so nervous a lot quicker than other people. And I’d love to go into baking in the future, and I feel so lucky and so blessed to have been given such a massive opportunity when I’m so young and it can make such a difference, because I haven’t done uni yet, I’ve still got all these things to come.
Have friends wanted to know who wins, and how far your go?
The first few weeks, people, they don’t really want to know who wins, they just don’t want me to tell them who wins – as if I could tell them who wins, it would ruin the show for so many people. It has been quite difficult to keep it a secret. Another secret which people don’t really realise when you’re on the show is that you’re not allowed to tell anyone that you’re doing it. My parents knew but other families members had no idea that’s what I was doing for so many weeks. Teachers knew as well so they could be lenient with me! It was this secret life where no one knew where I was at the weekend.