SCOTTISH grandmother Marie Campbell became the second contestant to leave The Great British Bake Off - but insisted the show had given her “more confidence” in her baking.
Campbell - who was given the title of Star Baker by judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood in the first week - was eliminated from the BBC show after presenting the judges with non-uniform Biscotti Italiano and a disappointing biscuit box, as well as failing to complete the technical challenge.
The 66-year-old said competing in the Bake Off had been on her bucket list, adding: “Every moment was a fabulous experience for me. Some grannies want to bungee jump, but for me it was always to get on Bake Off.”
Campbell impressed in the first week with her Black Forest gateau and her Madeira cake - labelled “perfect” by Hollywood. Though her walnut cake in the technical challenge was not a top scorer, the grandmother’s other bakes were enough to earn her the title of Star Baker.
Campbell said: “We had a great party for episode one with the children and grandchildren at my daughter’s house, and she had put up bunting and balloons.
“We watched the Bake Off and the kids watched a film next door but then drifted through to see what was happening. It was a great atmosphere and we all watched together as my family and friends are all huge Bake Off fans.”
The amateur baker added: “I made all the bakes that were shown in the programme, and friends and family tasted the Madeira cake and the Black Forest gateau as we watched the show.
“I didn’t want to try the walnut cake, I couldn’t risk making a mess of it again!”
But Campbell failed to excel in the second week, presenting the judges with an underwhelming “Russian Box” made of biscuits.
Hollywood complained: “The biscuits look quite...plain?” adding: “The flavour’s a little bit muddled-up inside,” while Berry said: “It isn’t really crisp. It’s a little bit soft.”
A disaster with the oven during the technical challenge also left her with only four arlettes instead of eight, putting her in last place.
But the former contestant insisted there was no bitterness at her stint coming to an end, explaining: “The show has given me more confidence in my baking, and where Paul said my Madeira cake was perfect on the show, I just have to keep rewinding that bit on the tape!
“It has been a fantastic experience for me, and I have enjoyed it from beginning to end. I live in a small village and I am only now getting used to being recognised. It is a bit surreal, but I just have a bit of a giggle about it. The family are really proud.”
Campbell, who received some criticism after it was revealed she had trained in patisserie at the Ecole Escoffier at the Paris Ritz over 30 years ago, confirmed she would be watching the rest of the series.
“Bakers are lovely people,” she said. “I have made great friends with all the bakers and I will be watching them every Wednesday with a slice of my Madeira cake and a cup of tea in my hand.”