When they said my name that meant more to me than anyone will ever realise. I have low self belief, even though my friends and family constantly build my confidence up. So it was a big moment in my life, probably the biggest so far. I felt that everything happens for a reason, and I did it, and that makes me smile so much. In fact, I can’t stop smiling.
When they announced the winner, I almost didn’t hear it, and was in complete and utter disbelief. I was aware of it but I couldn’t take it in. Mary and Paul came over and I thought my knees would give way, I was trembling so much. One of the biggest moments for me was when Mary gave me the bouquet of flowers, and Paul handed me the trophy, and Paul said to me ‘take it, it’s yours’ and then I cried, I was in shock but totally elated.
The Showstopper was completely different to any of the previous ones in previous years, multiple bakes instead of one elaborate bake. For me, I loved it, because I enjoyed all the elements, and the five hours went so quickly, and in the last hour I had to really pull myself together. That one, more than any challenge, was all about managing time.
I was happy with all my bakes apart from the pastry on my sweet custard tart. Sausage rolls are always asked for by my family, my signature dish, so to make those in the Final was great, I made crackling curly tails and I managed to fill the tent with smoke as I was cooking the crackling, and they had to open the panels on the tent. It was very hot in there and I think I should have had one of Val’s pedometers on as I covered a lot of walking on the day.
Two minutes from the end I hadn’t got the chocolate on my cake. It was such a race against time and I was using my hands, and laughing so loudly, the crew must have thought I had lost it, and I had to wipe my hands down my apron. I have kept that as a good memory. I loved every second of that day.
It got very emotional, and at one stage the tent was completely empty apart from me, Andrew and Jane just chatting. We had a bit of a hug and a Polaroid picture which I keep in my wallet. When we had to walk out, I could see my family out of the corner of my eye, and I forced myself not to cry. After it was announced I was the winner, Liam, my boyfriend, picked me up with the trophy between us and Dennis, my pug. We were all hugging each other and I will keep that moment forever, I will remember that squeeze for the rest of my life. What a feeling.
My best moment was winning Star Baker three times. I still feel it was such an achievement to get in there and in the first week I really felt out of my depth. Biscuit week should have been my weakness, yet I pulled it off, and Pastry week I really enjoyed.
Worst moment was bread week, when Paul wouldn’t eat my bread as it was completely raw. Mary said she would try a bit, and I felt that I wasn’t good enough and I shouldn’t be in the tent. I felt that I had really let them down and that was hard for me.
There are two different sides of me. I would prefer a quiet night in the pub than going uptown in lipstick and heels. I like getting glammed up, but give me a pub with a pint of cider, a packet of pork scratchings and a sticky carpet with the family watching the rugby any day. Having a laugh with them is more important to me.
When I got home after the filming of the final it was very strange because we got stuck in traffic, and we got in very late. I went straight to bed and got up for work early the next morning, I couldn’t talk about it and nothing had changed. I questioned whether yesterday happened! I have an antique chest upstairs, and that’s where I hid the trophy so only Liam and Dennis could see it. I kept it well hidden, even though I would have liked to wear it round my neck all the time!
My most favourite challenge was the technicals and I loved Tudor Week making the peacock cake and the pies as I am a pie and mash kind of girl. That was a great week and I just loved it.
Family values are so important to me, I get on brilliantly with my mum and dad, brother and sisters. I love my whole family, and they are so proud of what I have achieved. They really enjoyed the episode where I made the King Billy pub cake, as it was such a big part of our life. The practice hadn’t gone that well and then when I made it on the day I got star baker and I rang to tell them, and they said they couldn’t wait to see it.
The other bakers are all so incredibly talented. We have all had such a great experience together, and I know we will be friends for life. I love baking and this has increased my love of baking. If I can get my little vintage shop selling tea and cakes with random antiques that would be my ultimate dream. Let’s wait and see what will come my way but I will be grabbing it with both hands and running with it, that’s for sure. It would be crazy not to wouldn’t it?