let the baking begin

Your Very British Primer for This Season’s Great British Baking Show Contestants

Photo: Mark Bourdillon/PBS

Starting tonight, PBS will air a new season of The Great British Baking Show, referred to anywhere but America as The Great British Bake Off. This is the final season with judges Mary Berry, Mel Giedroyc, and Sue Perkins, who are not going to Bake Off’s new network — the new judging lineup (with noted traitor Paul Hollywood), however, is already in full swing overseas. (PBS has always been delayed airing Bake Off’s original episodes, and because of it, season four of the show is only making its way Stateside now.) Will a spunky but lacking-in-confidence baker like Ruby emerge once again? What about one with magnificent attention to presentation, like our girl Frances? Read on for all of the quintessentially British information about your new class of amateur bakers.

Photo: Mark Bourdillon/PBS

When Jane is not in her Wellies knee-deep in mud, she’s donning her leopard-print apron in the kitchen. Jane will be up at 5 a.m. most mornings getting her bread in the oven, but her favorite time to bake is on the weekend.”

“In her spare time, Val loves to exercise and can often be found doing aerobics in her kitchen whilst she waits for her jam to boil or her bread to prove.”

Photo: Mark Bourdillon/PBS

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.”

Photo: Mark Bourdillon/PBS

She loves everything vintage, and though she usually bakes in her pj’s, she has been known to break in a new pair of heels whilst baking, too.”

Photo: Mark Bourdillon/PBS

“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.”

Photo: Mark Bourdillon/PBS

“He has worked in various pastoral ministries for the past 30 years, and most recently as the pastor of a local church in Bolton, where he lives. Lee started baking in 1984 when he injured his back playing cricket with his young son.”

Photo: Mark Bourdillon/PBS

“When she’s not baking for family and friends, she loves being outdoors and has completed various mountain walks, most notably a four-day trek around the Andes.”

Photo: Mark Bourdillon/PBS
Photo: Mark Bourdillon/PBS/Mark Bourdillon

“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. But he admits it’s not easy in a house full of students.”

“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 flavor combinations, even if they might seem strange to others.”

Photo: Mark Bourdillon 07831605033/Mark Bourdillon
Photo: PBS
Photo: Mark Bourdillon/PBS

“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. Outside of baking, Selasi enjoys playing basketball, traveling, and motorbikes, taking to the open road with his mates in his own ‘Sunday Motorbike Club.’”

“He always finds time to bake, and if he feels that he doesn’t, then he will sit down and reevaluate, as it means his work-life balance is off.”

She was a straight-A student throughout her time at school and aims just as highly in her baking, so she isn’t happy when things don’t turn out picture-perfect.”

Great British Baking Show: Meet the Contestants