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Scot Norman seeks Great British Bake Off glory

Norman, the only Scottish contestant. Picture: PA

Norman, the only Scottish contestant. Picture: PA

A RETIRED Naval officer from Scotland will compete in the fifth series of culinary TV hit The Great British Bake Off.

Norman, 66, lives in the north east, and joined the Merchant Navy at 19, working as a radio operator.

His father and brother were bakers, and Norman has said he is keen on bringing back traditional Scottish recipes, having contacted his father’s old apprentices in the hope of reviving recipes that he fears are being lost.

The show will also have its youngest and oldest contestants this year.

The fifth series airs on BBC1 next month, with judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.

At just 17, Martha will be the show’s youngest ever baker and is combining baking with her AS-level exams and coursework.

The teenager, who takes breaks from her revision to make a tower of profiteroles, said of her passion: “I may be in school but my head is always in the kitchen.”

At 69, Diana is the oldest baker so far.

A traditionalist, she says that making her daughter’s wedding cake was her proudest baking moment.

Other contestants this year include Enwezor, a 39-year-old business consultant who once did a night shift with a professional baker - making more than 900 loaves of bread - just for the work experience.

Another baker, Luis, 42, is described as “inventive” - his creations include Tequila Slammer Cheesecake.

Amateur baker and family man Richard, 38, made his own wedding cake when his wife put him in charge - and created a Star Wars’ Millenium Falcon cake.

Last year’s final was won by Frances Quinn. The new series, presented by Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, begins on Wednesday August 6 on BBC1.

The contestants

• Martha, 17, Berkshire

Martha is The Great British Bake Off’s youngest ever baker. She is studying food technology, maths and chemistry and wants to be a food scientist. She lives with her mother, father and younger sister and their white labradoodle Alfie - who is known to steal Martha’s bakes.

• Diana, 69, Shropshire

Diana is Bake Off’s oldest baker so far. She grew up on a farm in Shropshire where she joined the Women’s Institute at the age of 12 and became a WI judge at 20. Diana met her husband at a Young Farmers social event when she was just 16 and they have been together ever since.

• Enwezor, 39, Hampshire

Born in North London, Enwezor is half Nigerian and half Japanese and lives with his wife and four children in Portsmouth, working at the university as a business consultant. When Enwezor sets his mind to something he does it - after deciding to do the Great South Run barefoot he spent eight months walking around Portsmouth without shoes or socks to get his feet ready for the race. He has taught himself to bake in the last three years.

• Luis, 42, Cheshire

“Inventive baker” Luis was born and brought up in Stockport by his Spanish parents. He trained as a graphic designer and likes to play the ukulele, make model aeroplanes and keep bees. He uses honey from his bees and fresh ingredients from his allotment in his baking.

• Jordan, 32, Nottingham

Jordan works as an IT manager. He is the self-confessed ‘nerdy baker’ of the tent. He is passionate about crossbreeding bakes like his “pretzel-croissant” and says he has lost days of his life perfecting his own version of the “cronut.” He has been baking seriously for the last three years.

• Iain, 31, London

Iain’s passion for travel has inspired the flavours of his bakes. Now living in London, Iain, who grew up just outside Belfast, is a construction engineer and brings his bakes in for his colleagues.

• Chetna, 35, Kent

Chetna was born in India and became a fashion designer. She and her husband moved to the UK in 2003. Chetna used baking as a way of embracing life in the UK and combines her mother’s traditional recipes and flavours with British bakes.

• Claire, 31, Cheshire

Claire works as a speech and language therapist in Cheshire. She has been baking since she was 11-years-old as both her mother and grandmother were wedding cake decorators and her father was a chef. She used to be a chaotic baker but since marrying her husband, a chemist, his precision work has rubbed off on her. Claire brings along cakes for her fellow slimmers at slimming clubs.

• Richard, 38, London

Family man Richard, who made a Star Wars’ Millennium Falcon cake for his own wedding, is the fourth generation in his family’s building business and he and his wife were born, raised and live on the same street and both sets of parents still live close by. He bakes with his wife and two young girls.

• Norman, 66, Scotland

Norman is retired and lives on the north east coast of Scotland. He joined the Merchant Navy at the age of 19, working as a radio operator. Norman’s father and brother were bakers. He would like to bring back traditional Scottish recipes and has contacted some of his father’s old apprentices to revive traditional Scottish bakes that he fears are being lost.

• Nancy, 60, North Lincolnshire

Known for her sense of humour, Nancy worked as a practice manager for a GP surgery but is now retired. She cycles, grows vegetables, rears guinea fowl and “grows her own turkeys for Christmas” in her garden. Nancy also trains dogs for obedience but one dog embarrassed her at Crufts by falling asleep in the judging arena.

• Kate, 41, East Sussex

Originally from Cambridgeshire, Kate lives in Brighton with her five-year-old daughter. After wanting to become an actress, she changed direction and started her own upholstery company. Kate organises street parties every year and she likes to bake for her family, last year baking 15 Christmas cakes. She only rarely uses recipes or weighs ingredients.

 

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