Who are the Great British Bake Off 2016 contestants?

    Bake Off is back and the oven gloves are off. Who will impress Mary and Paul enough to be crowned 2016's star baker and win the coveted cake stand...

    The Great British Bake Off is over for another year, but how well do you know series 7?


    MichaelAge: 20
    Twitter handle: @michaelgeo96

    Michael is from London but is currently living with four friends in Durham where he’s studying Politics and Economics. His family are originally from Cyprus and his heritage has a strong influence on his baking, he’s been making Greek Pastries with his nan since he was a small boy. When he’s not playing for his college football team he’s whipping up cakes and enjoys adding different flavours that aren’t traditionally used together.

    The BBC Good Food prediction: The baby of the group - will he fold under the steely gaze of Paul? Just think of your nan's sterling tutelage, Michael... 


    LouiseAge: 46
    Twitter handle: @LouBaraDa

    Originally from Merthyr Tydfil, hairdresser Louise now lives in Cardiff with her fiancé Simon. Louise loves baking and decorating her cakes with elaborate designs, as well as experimenting with different flours and flavours when baking bread. Louise’s passion for baking has grown in the last 10 years after she started making cakes for the charity bake sales at work. 

    The BBC Good Food prediction: We hope Louise's experimental bent will result in some heritage Welsh recipes with a twist as we kind of like the sound of laverbread bara brith. No? 


    JaneAge: 61
    Twitter handle: @Janebbakes

    Jane lives in Beckenham with husband Ray where she designs gardens for a living. She has two children, Amy and Henry who are both at university. She loves traditional flavours and baking classic cakes, biscuits and pastry but isn’t afraid to try new challenges. She’s calm under pressure so long as it’s not her nemeses, macarons or ciabatta.

    The BBC Good Food prediction: Calm under pressure? A dab hand at classic baking? Jane, we expect big things in the technical challenges... 


    Twitter handle: @RavSBansal

    Rav lives in Erith, Kent with his parents and works at City University in London. He has a huge and extremely close family, and an especially strong bond with his sister who inspired him to bake. Rav is adventurous and experimental with his baking and likes to use a whole range of unusual ingredients. He thinks he has a good sense of flavour combinations, even if they might seem strange to others. He is especially inspired by Far Eastern cuisine and likes vegan baking.

    The BBC Good Food prediction: We heartily approve of more vegan and free-from baking in the Bake Off tent, and Rav seems like he's up for dealing with unconventional ingredients. We expect a flavour explosion from Rav. 


    ValAge: 66

    Former primary school Head Teacher Val is originally from Conisbrough near Doncaster but now lives with husband Ian near Yeovil. Aged 15 she took over the family baking and has stayed at the helm of the kitchen now for over 60 years. She says her style is traditional and she can make the classics with her eyes closed, but she also enjoys searching the internet, finding new recipes. 

    The BBC Good Food prediction: Most likely to win star baker for a Victoria sponge to rival Mary's. 


    SelasiAge: 30
    Twitter handle: @selasigb

    Originally from Ghana, Selasi moved to the UK with his family 15 years ago and now lives with his girlfriend in London where he works as a Client Service Associate in a Financial Institution. Selasi has come a long way from baking fairy cakes back at University where he studied Economics and Finance. He works long hours, but always finds time to bake and colleagues are often shocked by the delicate cupcakes he makes for their charity bake sales. 

    The BBC Good Food prediction: Selasi's experience dealing in numbers and figures would suggest he's a stickler for accurate measurements. No flat sponges or curdled custard, please. 


    CandiceAge: 31
    Twitter handle: @CJ_Brownie

    Born in North London, Candice grew up in the pubs her parents ran. She would always chip in when needed, be it pulling pints or mopping floors. She now lives with boyfriend Liam and pug Dennis in Bedfordshire. Since achieving a degree in Sport, PE and Community Studies Candice has now settled into pastoral care and teaching PE at a secondary school. She was taught to bake by her beloved Nan, and strives to emulate her bakes aiming to be “even half the lady she was.” 

    The BBC Good Food prediction: Anyone who learned to bake from their nan stands in good stead in our eyes... 


    KateAge: 37

    Bio: Mother of two Kate is a farmer's daughter from Norfolk. She is a qualified nurse and works on an acute respiratory ward. She's had a passion for baking since she was a child and loves using seasonal fruits and produce which she gathers with her children from her parents' farm. As well as her everyday family baking Kate will work through the night to produce flawless sugar craft creations and although she always strives for perfection if something does go wrong she will always try to maintain her bright and cheery disposition. 

    The BBC Good Food prediction: Sugar craft, plus a farm in the family – we hope for a pig pen cake topped with a sugar-spun porker in the first week. 


    AndrewAge: 25
    Twitter handle: @cakesmyth

    Bio: Andrew is originally from Northern Ireland but currently lives with three friends in Derby where he works as an aerospace engineer for Rolls-Royce, designing jet engines. He was taught to bake by his mum and gran and has their safeguarded recipes in his arsenal. He’s a straight A student and went to Cambridge University. Andrew strives to make all his bakes look beautiful, he loves to push the boundaries of design and baking, and for his next big ambitious bake he’s designing a baguette concorde.

    The BBC Good Food prediction: A baguette concorde? What next, a flan helicoper? A pie blimp? We like the sound of this aviation/baking mash-up more and more... 


    LeeAge: 67

    Bio: Lee started his working life as a builder but had a complete change of direction in the mid 1980s and went to study theology and is now the pastor of a local church in Bolton where he lives. Lee is a father of two and has four young grandchildren. He was very proud when his grandson took a photo of a cake he’d made to send to his girlfriend. Lee likes traditional flavours; cherry, hazelnut, vanilla and chocolate. He doesn’t tend to veer too far from the norm but does enjoy a taste of the exotic every now and again.

    The BBC Good Food prediction: We're thinking height and lots of it – those building skills will still be intact, we're sure of it.  


    TomAge: 26
    Twitter handle: @Tom_gilliford

    Bio: Tom grew up in Rochdale but following University moved to London to pursue a career in education. He now works as a Project Engagement Manager for The Royal Society of Arts and specializes in creative learning and development. He lives in East London with his wife, Kate and the pair like to make a real event out of every dinner time. Having lost 30 kilos, his mentality to food is now “have your cake and eat it” - so he still enjoys his bakes but believes in everything in moderation. He likes to surprise those he’s feeding with unexpected ingredients.

    The BBC Good Food prediction: Unexpected ingredients? Paul and Mary might be in for a few surprise hidden centres. 


    BenjaminaAge: 23
    Twitter handle: @bakedbybenji

    Bio: Teaching Assistant, Benjamina has recently graduated with a 1st in Economics and lives in south London. Benjamina started baking at the age of 14 just for fun, now it’s a passion, she likes to combine classic, simple flavours with a fresh, modern style. She takes pride in her presentation and follows online cake fashions for inspiration. She aims highly in her baking so isn’t happy when things don’t turn out picture-perfect. 

    The BBC Good Food prediction: We really hope Benjamina's bakers turn out 'picture-perfect' as we can't be having any flying whisks. Most likely to 'Bingate'? Well, there has to be some drama... 

    All photos © BBC/Love Productions/Mark Bourdillon

    Read Nadiya Hussain's guide on how to win Bake Off.

    Catch The Great British Bake Off on BBC One every Wednesday at 8pm from the 24th August. We'd love to hear your predictions for this year's batch of bakers, let us know who you're backing!


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    16th Aug, 2016
    Why on earth do the Men have blue icing and the Women have pink?
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