Great British Bake Off: Meet baking biker Phil from Barking


PUBLISHED: 14:42 20 August 2019 | UPDATED: 14:44 20 August 2019

Hayley Anderson

Phil, 56, from Rainham, will be taking part in this year’s Great British Bake Off. Picture: Mark Bourdillon

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It’s that time of year again where everyone fancies themselves as baking connoisseurs, talking about creme pats, even bakes, and, of course, soggy bottoms.

This year's Great British Bake Off contestants. Picture: Mark BourdillonThis year’s Great British Bake Off contestants.

Picture: Mark Bourdillon

That’s right. The Great British Bake Off will be returning to our screens on Tuesday, August 27, and this time around, a Barking-born resident will be donning an apron in the country’s most famous tent. HGV driver Phil, 56, will be one of the 13 contestants going bake-to-bake every week in a bid to be crowned champion and says it’s something he’s wanted to do for years.

“To get in there now, is an amazing experience that I won’t forget for the rest of my life”, he said. “My memory of the first week is seeing the tent, those wonderful white peaks and thinking that this is happening, it’s not just a dream.

Paul Hollywood, Sandi Toksvig, Noel Fielding and Prue Leith. Picture: Mark BourdillonPaul Hollywood, Sandi Toksvig, Noel Fielding and Prue Leith.

Picture: Mark Bourdillon

“I have yearned for this for years, it’s amazing.” Phil, who is married with two daughters, was introduced to the joys of baking bread in his home economics class at school but it wasn’t until six years ago that he started to take baking seriously.

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He now bakes four or five times a week, frequently making focaccia, granary bread, brioche, and challenging himself to making puff and choux pastry. Phil trained to be a driver when he was 17 and working the early shifts means that he can spend the rest of his day preparing some of the family dinners and baking treats.

As well as his love of baking, he is passionate about motorbikes and always turning up to biking meet-ups with his latest scrumptious creation. He has been working really hard on his decoration and piping techniques over the last year and now also loves to create really delicately decorated cakes. Phil said: “The most surprised [to see me on the show] will be a couple who are long term friends.

“They stayed with us recently and said ‘you make such wonderful cakes’, but they never mentioned to me that I should go on bake off.

“I think they haven’t a clue that I would ever be in it.”

The Great British Bake off starts next week at 8pm on Channel 4.

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