The Great British Bake Off’s youngest contestant Liam Charles said he cannot wait to take his new-found friends to Nando’s chicken restaurant as he was named the latest baker to leave the show.
The 19-year-old student, who has delighted fans with his laid-back quips and impressive flavouring skills throughout the Channel 4 contest, failed to impress with his attempts at “forgotten” British bakes in Tuesday night’s quarter-final.
He started on a high when he presented his pizza-inspired Bedfordshire clanger signature bake, but his Rum Nicky technical challenge was raw and the spun sugar on his Savoy cake showstopper dissolved before he could present it to judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith.
Looking back over his time on the show, he said: “Being the youngest baker in the tent had a massive part to play. It meant I got lots of mothering and fathering from the bakers, with some really good advice on baking and how to cope in the tent.
“Even though it’s a mixed age range, as bakers we all bonded together really well and still socialise. We are now planning a night out at Nando’s, as some of the bakers have never been.”
Liam, who filmed the show during the second year of his drama degree, said he had received huge amounts of support from his family and university friends, who have since nicknamed him “cake boy”.
He said the experience had been “mad stressful” but admitted he would “do it all again”, especially since watching the pre-recorded show on television.
“I go through the exact emotions watching it that I went through in the tent as it was happening, it’s weird to relive it,” he said.
“When I got the Hollywood Handshake it was like virtual reality when I saw it on screen, I felt the same elation that I felt in the tent.”
Free to contemplate the future now he has left the tent, he added: “But in an ideal world I would love to combine drama and baking together, and over the next year I want to decide what I want to do.”
Meanwhile, it was a success story for Stacey Hart, who rocketed to star baker days after her Italian week performance.
While her showstopper was marred by a broken oven, forcing her to hold the door shut while her sponge finished baking, she dazzled the judges with her additions of homemade jellies, macaroons, madeleines and meringues.
She also received the coveted Hollywood Handshake as the discerning judge praised the “hero” caramelised onions in her signature.
Elsewhere, one particularly tense moment saw Kate literally drop a clanger when her pastry toppled to the floor seconds before she served it to the judges.
The innuendo of the night was made by Steven who, when introduced to the technical Cumberland delicacy for the first time, said: “It’s an alcoholic fruit tart with a lattice top – sounds like the perfect drag queen, if you ask me.”