The GBBO Interviews: Karen

If you loved Karen's cool, calm approach to baking in The Great British Bake Off so far, have a read of this Q&A with the contestant herself. 

Image credit: Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions/Channel 4

30th Aug 2018

If you loved Karen's cool, calm approach to baking in The Great British Bake Off so far, have a read of this Q&A with the contestant herself.

We were all in awe of how confident and collected Karen was in Episode 1, even snacking on a bag of crisps when she finished her signature bake ahead of time! Find out more about her in this Q&A about her baking history. [caption id="attachment_19833" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Karen Bake Off Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions/Channel 4[/caption] Who encouraged you to fill out the application form to be on The Great British Bake Off? I dared myself to start the application process as my first challenge to celebrate my 60th birthday year. My daughters forwarded me the application form, they encouraged me and also helped by proof reading for me and putting in some punctuation and full sentences as I get carried away writing at speed - as I do baking at speed and doing more than one thing at a time! What age or time in your life did you start baking and who has inspired you? As a child of maybe eight or nine my Mam started training me to be a housewife (she failed) so she taught me the very basics - how to fold in flour in cakes and how to keep pastry tender - that type of thing. Then it was a big gap of many years before I tried some less typical everyday stuff. We had a holiday home in France and I became fascinated by the patisseries and breads, but only in the last year or so having scaled back work commitments did I try to make some, and they turned out surprisingly well. I also taught myself how to ice and decorate celebration cakes, as again I was always a bit mesmerised by seeing these works of art, I scoured books and the internet to help me. What is your signature bake that the family or friends love or expect for a special occasion? I would say a bright and glossy tarte au citron or a fat juicy quiche. How did you find it in the Tent, walking in on that first morning? Seeing and entering the tent was like I was in somebody else's world, totally wonderful and exciting. Which Judge did you want to impress the most and did you find Sandi & Noel a boost to get you through? I think Paul as he is a bit of a tough nut to crack and I wanted the challenge of trying to. Prue was lovely and Sandi and Noel were both hilarious and I had a great time with them, that helped such a lot. How will you watch the first episode - who will you be with and will you have made a cake to eat with it? I intend to watch the first episode at home with my nearest and dearest, with a small selection of delicious bakes. Sweet or savoury – what is your preference and why? Always been savoury, well I do love both but savoury, who knows why?? I don’t! [caption id="attachment_19836" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Karen Bake Off Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions/Channel 4[/caption] Favourite bake to make… and what would be your Desert Island Dish? Favourite bake (at the time being, it does change) my Beef Bourgogne Pie, Desert Island would have to be one of my Rich Fruit Christmas cakes, a massive one maybe several tiers so it would keep us going and not go off while we wait to be rescued. Did you imagine you would ever be on TV? Are you looking forward to - or fearing - seeing yourself on television? I never imagined. I may come over well, I may not, but what's to fear, I did what I did, cannot change it, it's just some fun, it’s kind and it’s baking at the end of the day, I am me and I go with the flow.

Q&A courtesy of Channel 4 Press Centre


More in Interviews


Click here to view our range of subscription offers!

Click here to view our range of subscription offers!