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Reunion as nice as pie for TV’s Bake Off contestants
THE Great British Bake Off finalists certainly shared plenty of tears and trifles during the competition.
But away from the glare of television cameras, there was laughter – and of course lots of cake – as most of them were reunited on Saturday at Didcot contestant Christine Wallace’s home.
Mrs Wallace made it through to the quarter-final of the show but was sent home by judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood after a disappointing meringue challenge.
She welcomed eight of the 13 finalists for the first time they have met up since the final was aired on October 22.
More than nine million people tuned in to watch the show and the amateur bakers said it had been a “surreal” experience becoming recognised celebrities on the streets.
Mrs Wallace, 67, who has lived in Didcot since 1988, said: “I can’t go out without at least a dozen people stopping me.
“It’s taken some getting used to but I enjoy it.
“I love talking to people and it’s great that people have been so interested in the programme.”
She had a lemon and poppy seed cake with raspberry and mascarpone filling, while Toby Waterworth brought some smoked salmon tartlets. Glenn Cosby made rocky road.
The former fashion company worker, who was persuaded to audition for the show by niece Hannah Wilson, said it was so popular because baking enthusiasts could relate to it.
She said: “The fact we are amateur bakers is what makes the programme so popular. If all the bakers were perfect and made no mistakes, then no one would want to watch it.”
Children’s clothes designer Frances Quinn was crowned baking queen in the final last Tuesday beating former model Ruby Tandoh, 21, and psychologist Kimberly Wilson, 30, to the prize.
She won after wowing the judges with a rainbow-style savoury picnic pie and a three-tier wedding cake inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Ms Quinn, 31, who lives in Market Harborough, said: “It has been surreal and I am still in shock.
“I’ve had to keep the result a secret for the last four months.
“I only told close friends and family and so I had to go back into work and try to keep a poker face.”
Ms Quinn, who is the youngest of five siblings, added: “The hype surrounding the show this year has been amazing.
“But it’s great that everyone got on and we can all meet up like this.”
The show, which is now in its fourth series, this year set 13 amateur bakers three challenges in each episode. The next series is moving to BBC1.
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