Bake Off role for DfE official Luke Thompson

DfE civil servant enters Bake Off tent to put culinary skills to the test

Helen Ward

Luke Thompson, GBBO contestant and DfE civil servant

The Great British Bake Off rolled, like a perfectly-formed wagon wheel, onto our screens this week. And one sight even more surprising than Noel Fielding’s colourful shirt was the appearance of yet another Department for Education official revealing their hidden talents on TV.

Yes, after DfE policy adviser Zara McDermott joined Love Island in June, the department has now gifted the nation Luke Thompson (who appears in an apron rather than a bikini) to show us how to make lime gingernut biscuits.

His exact role at the DfE has not been revealed, although in a pre-show publicity interview, Mr Thompson revealed that he was at work when he got the call saying he was on the show.

“I went into a meeting room at work when I took the call and when they said I was on the show thought they must have dialled the wrong person as things like this don’t happen to me!” he said.

“I then had to walk back out into the office acting all normal like it was just any other phone call and carry on working, when all I wanted to do was just walk out with the biggest smile on my face and tell everyone what had just happened.”

As the show opened this week, the nation watched as the contestants tackled the three tasks. Regional biscuits for the signature bake, then the technical challenge – Mr Thompson's wagon wheels were middling – followed by the showstopper, a giant biscuit selfie.

For this challenge, Mr Thompson depicted himself on a lad’s holiday to Las Vegas – a decision which went down particularly well on twitter –

– where it seemed, perhaps, more in tune with cake-obsessed viewers, than some of the other, healthier pursuits being portrayed.

The judges, Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith, thought Mr Thompson’s effort was a bit underbaked. However, he has already made plenty of fans, and not just for his skill with a whisk, but for his DJ-ing, his eyebrows and, of course, his Yorkshireness.

Mr Thompson also revealed in the pre-show interview with Channel 4 that he only started watching the show for the first time in 2016 – when PE teacher Candice Brown won.

But can his baking rise to match Ms Brown’s achievements? Now that is a DfE test that will go down well (with a nice cup of tea).

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Helen Ward

Helen Ward

Helen Ward is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @teshelen

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