PE teacher, teaching assistant and former head compete in Great British Bake Off

Will these contestants from the world of education rise to the occasion?

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The teaching profession is well-represented in this year’s Great British Bake Off with a teaching assistant, teacher and former head among the 12 contestants who are preparing to follow in the footsteps of champion Nadiya Hussain.

The amateur bakers taking part in the BBC One show include 23-year-old TA Benjamina, 31-year-old PE teacher Candice and 66-year-old former primary school head Val.


benjamina on the GBBO 2016

Photo credit: Mark Bourdillon/BBC/PA Wire 

Benjamina, who lives in south London, recently gained a first in economics and was a straight-A student. 



Candice on the GBBO 2016

Photo credit: Mark Bourdillon/BBC/PA Wire

Candice, a PE teacher at a secondary school, where she is also involved in pastoral care, was inspired to bake by her grandmother and hopes to follow her example – aiming to be "even half the lady she was". The 31-year-old grew up in the pubs that her parents ran and now lives in Bedfordshire.



Val on GBBO 2016

Photo credit: Mark Bourdillon/BBC/PA Wire

Val is a former primary headteacher with a long history of baking. She took over the baking for her family aged 15 and says she can make the classics with her eyes closed. Now semi-retired, she works two days a week, so will find plenty of time to practice her bakes.

She is originally from Conisbrough, South Yorkshire, but now lives near Yeovil, Somerset. She could bring a more unusual touch to the Bake Off tent as she likes to do aerobics in her kitchen while waiting for her jams to boil.


Presenter Paul Hollywood said that entering the Bake Off tent was particularly nerve-wracking for contestants because of the standard set by last year's winner, Nadiya.

"Nadiya went to a whole new level, and because of that I think it put the pressure on them more, and I think we felt that in the tents as well," Hollywood said.

"But actually they came out tops. They started quite nervously but once they settled down they got into it. Then the baking started to flow and the standard got really, really good."

However, judge Mary Berry, 81, said this year's contestants had not immediately warmed to each other.

She said: "They know the standard that it is, which is now pretty high. And I think they were slower to bond this year than they were in the past."

The Great British Bake Off launches on August 24 on BBC One at 8pm.

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