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Goldsmiths' Official Student Magazine

We chatted to Liam from Great British Bake Off

27 September 2017
Freshers' special: [smiths] chats cakes & bakes with Liam from GBBO

Pic: Channel 4

Not sure about you, but my Tuesday’s are generally dedicated to GBBO and yesterday’s pudding episode was no exception.

This series the show switched to Channel 4, and honestly no-one was sure if it would work. Sue, Mel and even the show’s queen Mary Berry were replaced. After seven solid seasons and slaying ratings, number eight looked like it might be a dodgy patisserie. That is, until Liam came along; Goldsmiths drama student, joker and part-time baker.

Slightly starstruck, we chatted bakes, cakes and Paul H with the young talent from Hackney.

Tell us what being on GBBO is really like – stressful/rewarding? We are dying to know?!

“Bake off is amazing, the amount of emotions you go through over a week is crazy. There are times where it can be stressful especially if something is not going your way during practise or in the tent, but it’s the best feeling when you pull it off. I remember the first time walking into the tent, most of the bakers were buzzing, but I was just standing behind my station thinking ‘WOAH’!!!”

Can you put it in three words?

“Relentless, Exciting, Unpredictable (4TH MAD FUN).”

What is it about baking you love and what got you into it?

“Well I have always loved food, I also have a terrible sweet tooth. Mum and I always found ourselves buying sweet treats for dessert, but then I thought ‘I can do this’ so then I started with cakes and biscuits, then bread and pastries followed.

“It was my (home) maths tutor that introduced me to baking, we always spoke about food, baking in particular, so rather than talking about it all the time she decided we should put into action by baking these small lemon cupcakes with lime green icing and little red icing squiggles. At the time I thought they were the best thing but looking back now… not so much, but I think without that baking session, I probably wouldn’t be on the Bake off.”

Your fav bake pre & post show?

“Favourite bake… this is hard but I’ll say my ‘salted nutter’ it’s on my Instagram. It must be up there because I’ll say it describes an aspect of me in cake form, sounds weird I know! Oh, and doughnuts… LOVE DOUGHNUTS!!

“Post Show, see I’m not too sure but what I will say, I’ve learnt so much being on the show, not just from the judges, Noel and Sandi but the other bakers, crazy amounts of knowledge.”

Why, GBBO…?

“I thought to myself that was the only way that I could take my baking to another level. I felt I had enough knowledge to hold my own in the tent, so I just said to myself ‘just go for it Liam you have nothing to lose.’

“I also felt there wasn’t a representation of someone from urban London of my age group on the show previously.”

Paul Hollywood. Oh and Prue, what are they like?

“Paul – Paul was all jokes, I love the times where we go back and forth on the show, he will always try to catch me out, but hey I’m a drama student, I have an answer for everything! It was all love though, good ‘bants’, and the amount of knowledge Paul has is just insane – extremely supportive. It was weird because he didn’t have to say a lot to get his point across. I always tried to take every piece of criticism on board and better myself for the weeks ahead.

“Prue – Prue is a legend. I just rate her so much, very warm person, everything about her was ace, every week I felt like I couldn’t disappoint her. I remember Prue coming into the tent for the first time, she bought her own style to the tent, now do you see why I invited her for breakfast!”

Sandi/Noel?

“Sandi – Sandi was my Mum in the tent, mothering me when I needed it, but then telling me to pull myself together when I needed to. Sandi was so funny, she always knew how to make the best out a bad situation.

“Noel – You won’t believe this, but it felt just having someone from uni, his sense of humour was so odd but I got it, and talking to him in general was like just talking to one of my pals, he was a very chilled dude, and just great to be around. You were never on edge being round the hosts, they made you feel so comfortable.”

The other bakers, you all seem to rate each other?

“It’s true what they say, because it’s only twelve people, you instantly develop relationships between the lot of us. Even though it was a competition we felt the same disappointment if someone had a bad day in the tent. We all wanted each other to do well.”

Any advice to home bakers?

“DO NOT SECOND GUESS YOURSELF!! If you want to try something that’s a little bit out there in terms of design, flavour combinations, new recipes – 9.9 times out of 10 you’ll be onto something.

“Carry a notebook – the smallest thing when you’re on your daily travels can trigger a new idea for a bake, something that’s not even directly linked to baking and you are likely to use that idea if you write it down.

“Give your bakes to strangers – you should do this from time to time, your friends and family may develop a biased towards you, whereas giving it to someone you don’t now they will most likely give you their honest opinion – it will only better you as a baker!”

You are only 20! Do you have any major baking/future plans?

“Well soon, I would love the opportunity to collaborate with Goldsmiths, I would love to work with professional bakers and artists in different fields. Working with the youth, having a TV show would be crazy…there is a lot I want to accomplish.”

***

It’s clear Liam is a pretty down to earth and funny guy too. And, if it wasn’t already obvious we have a GBBO 2017 favourite in him, so will be rooting around campus and also looking for him to host [smiths] cake sales – #ad.

 

Words, Maddy White @itsmaddywhite