Great British Bake Off
I don't just take photos
In 2015 life took a bit of a weird turn... a few years down the line and I still can't quite get my head around the fact that it happened. I never had any great cakey ambitions before putting the application form in and considering the numbers of people who apply (some rumorus put it around 23,000 for my year) I never imagined I would hear anything more about it. But the interviews and auditions kept happening and before I knew it at the end of April I was walking into The Tent.
Things got off to a bad start in The Tent when Paul likened my first bake to wallpaper paste. At the end of week one I looked around at all the incredible Black Forest Gateaux and thought all my long hours I had spent practicing in the kitchen was going to be for nothing.
However, things turned around and for the following three weeks I was Star Baker for biscuits, bread and pudding weeks. After then there were several rocky patches especially when puff pastry was required - Vol au vents and cream horns were particularly low points. But I also made two of my favourite constructions (to call them bakes would be to undersell them) which were Victoria's Crown (immortalised in sugar craft in the pic above) and the Chocolate Well.
Eventually after 9 weeks I scraped through chocolate week to get through to the final. One of the main reasons for entering Bake Off was because my wife had wanted to go to the tea party on the last day of filming but I had never imagined I would actually get her to it and certainly never imagined that I would actually be baking for it. As it was, she was far too stressed about what I was up to in The Tent and thus didn't get to enjoy the party. Not winning put a bit of a damper on things too! People often ask if I was disappointed not to have won but I went into The Tent with very low expectations - it always felt like a big mistake that I had got in there in the first place. So to make it to the final far exceeded what I ever could have hoped for and thus I look back at that time with happy (albeit sleep-deprived and sometimes stressful) memories.