It was a Bake Off first with Japanese Week, but sadly it meant saying pud-bye to Mark as his avocado-themed showstopper failed to impress the judges. We sat down with Mark for a quick chat about his experience in the Bake Off bubble:
‘I am going home having learned so much and made an amazing bunch of friends. It has pushed me to bake things I would never have baked before. I couldn’t have asked for more in my Bake Off experience – it has been brilliant from start to finish, it really has!
‘The crew and the teams were such a great support in and out of the tent. We were each other’s family and support network in there and when it came to saying goodbye each week to a departing baker, it was tough. We quickly tuned into each other, particularly for those who were without their immediate family. The tears weren’t ultimately about cake, it was about leaving this Bake Off commune that we had lived in for so long. The longer you are in the tent, the harder it is to say goodbye to a baker, so there were lots of hugs, sometimes tears. Usually we would all have a good dinner together. On the night I left we had karaoke in the Bakers’ Bar at the Hotel, which was pretty ironic considering I left in Japanese week. I sang ‘Islands in the Stream’ with Laura, it was really good fun but also pretty emotional.
‘My best moment overall was getting good comments from Prue and Paul – that was the highlight for me. Going into Bake Off, I really wanted to produce something that they liked, and I’m glad that they did. Meeting all the other bakers and coming away with 11 new friends is the biggest thing I will take away from the tent.
‘I got Star Baker in Chocolate Week and that was an amazing high for me throughout my experience. I wanted to get past Week 1, and to get to Week 6 and a Star Baker accolade I feel I have achieved everything and more that I wanted to.
‘GBBO has changed my life absolutely! My baking has improved immensely and I’ve learnt so much from Paul and Prue – I can’t wait to put it all into practice in the future. I’ve also learnt a lot about myself, and the process has made me realise just how much I love baking. I’m coming away with more confidence to challenge myself in the future and try new things. I had an incredible experience of a lifetime, and it is one that I truly will never forget.
‘I’ve realised through my bake off journey that baking is not something I just want to do as a hobby. I enjoy it so much and would love it to be an even bigger part of my life. I’m not sure what’s next, but watch this space…’
Mark will join Jo Brand and Tom Allen for The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice on Friday 30th October at 8pm on Channel 4.