By Naomi Clarke
Durham University student, Henry Bird, has been selected for the tenth season of the Great British Bake Off 2019.
Henry, 20, is one of the youngest contestants this year and has been a keen baker from childhood. His love of baking began at age 12 when the Bake Off tent pitched up in his local park during series two.
He used to concoct creations on his walk to school while passing the tent and dreamt that one day he too would be able to present showstopping bakes to the judges.
Henry shared: “I used to see Paul Hollywood when I walked past the tent to go to school in the mornings, so I really got into it. To be inside the actual tent was totally wonderful”
On his first day of filming, he added: “I told Paul that I remembered him filming at Valentine’s for series two and we had a chat about that and shared our memories of that time. So he knew I had come full circle and was now in the tent, and that was pretty special.”
Originally from Essex, whilst growing up he tested his creations on his family, friends, and teachers. A former Head Boy of Chigwell School, he is now a student at Collingwood College.
As an English Literature student, choral singer, actor for Durham Student Theatre, former Head of HR at Purple Radio, and writer at Palatinate – he already keeps himself extremely busy at University.
However, he always finds time to practice his culinary skills of cakes, pastries, and patisserie creations to his housemates.
When asked what bake he would create that reflected one of his happiest memories at uni, he said: “One of the most lovely days I had at uni was this year, we hosted an end of year party, where everyone was just themselves and completely relaxed. So it would be quite a busy cake to represent the party, perhaps a kahlua coffee drizzle and vodka buttercream icing.”
Henry dazzles his Instagram followers with his incredibly intricate hand-crafted decorations and exquisite mirror glazes.
His undying passion for unique flavors and his attention to detail for elegant design has evidently paid off. However, a favourite bake of Henry’s is the classic brownie with salted caramel drizzle – the secret is apparently a dash of black pepper in the batter.
It was a tough battle with thousands of applicants applying for the hit baking show which was slowly tailored to a baker’s dozen – 13 contestants for the anniversary series.
After two successful series on Channel 4 following its move from BBC2 in 2017, it seems the broadcaster is keen to hold on to its young viewership. This year features one of the youngest line-ups ever, with more than half of the contestants being in their 20s, while the oldest contestant is 56.
Professor Joe Elliott, Principal of Collingwood College, Durham University, wished Henry good luck on the show, saying: “We are sure that Henry will have the recipe for success in this year’s Great British Bake Off.
“From biscuits to bread, tarts to terrines, pastry to pavlovas, we wish him all the luck, and hope he manages to avoid any soggy bottoms!”
The show will return to Channel 4 on the 27th August with his family, friends and Durham University backing him all the way. We can not wait for you to show-stop them Henry.
Featured Images via @henryfabird and PA