The Great British Bake Off: The sixth baker leaves the tent
In Tuesday night’s episode of The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4, Liam was named Star Baker for the first time, and Julia 21, was the sixth baker to leave the tent.
‘I was so nervous on the first day, although I was looking forward to it, I was also worried about how I would fit in. I was the only Russian baker of course, and felt the others would have so much more knowledge than me. But as bakers we instantly bonded and then couldn’t stop talking. In the tent Kate and I started a nervous giggle and then had a bit of a meltdown! I really couldn’t believe that it was happening and it was for real, to be part of something so special I felt really privileged. For me it was really a dream come true.
‘I knew that I wouldn’t win or get to the Final, but I enjoyed every week, and to get to over half way through the series is something I am really grateful for. I enjoyed every minute of it, and I would love to do it again now I have the knowledge of how it all works!
‘I keep Skyping my Russian family at home to tell them what is happening each week, but they don’t speak English and they are not able to watch it yet, hopefully I will be able to take some DVDs of the show so they can see it. My husband Matt’s family have of course been able to watch it, and his Nan cries each week, and was in pieces the night I left. They have been so incredibly supportive, and that means so much to me.
‘My husband Matt has been my rock, he is the one who has always believed in me. I would have gone crazy without him! He is always there for me, but as I am a natural worrier, it’s so good that he totally calms me down.
‘I am such a foodie, I love eating so much and sometimes I wish I was more fussy! I find food as fascinating as travelling, my philosophy is to like something but also want to try something new at the same time. Matt is very easy to please and he has always loved my savoury bakes and now gradually he is enjoying my sweeter bakes. I would love to combine my two loves – travel and food – that would be my idea of heaven.
‘Matt has learned Russian by himself, and has been back home with me many times and can now speak the language very well when we are at home. We are going to Russia this November to see all my family.
‘I really liked Noel and Sandi. They always made me laugh and we were always on the same wave length. We just got each other, and I think I made them laugh too, it was so comfortable I felt like I had known them both for a long time. Sandi was like my mum and I really loved her, she was so incredibly supportive.
‘I wanted to impress both Paul and Prue the same, their opinions were very important to me, and I respected them both equally. I would take both of their comments into account.
‘My worst moment in the tent? - Well I had two. The first technical challenge in the first week my bake looked so bad but the judges said it tasted good, and although I didn’t want to leave in the sixth week I knew I had tried my best.
‘My best bit was bread week because I got Star Baker, and that was so cool. There were great moments when Paul and Prue said you should be proud of yourself, and I will remember those forever!
‘It was a huge honour to be in the tent, and when you watch the episodes on tv, there are so many things you don’t remember saying in the tent because you are concentrating on baking. After a while you forget the cameras are there.
‘I was one of the younger bakers in the tent, but I do feel grown up for my age, and sometimes people think I am more mature than 21, so I often get mistaken for someone in their 30s. Liam was the other youngest, and he brought out the child in me. I called him my brother, and we fooled around like proper brother and sister. We had a real laugh together in the tent, which broke the tension of getting the bakes right.
‘At the end of the episode Sandi was very upset, when she announced I was leaving and she gave me a big hug and we both shared a few tears, and then Noel rallied me round. I didn’t want to go of course, but everyone has to leave sometime and I knew this was my week to go.
‘Before the Bake Off, I hadn’t ever planned my life in detail, it’s just not my way. So now I am waiting and hoping to see what will come my way, I guess. I do have a few ideas, but I don’t want to put my cards on the table just yet.’
After announcing that Julia has to leave that week, Sandi breaks down and then hugs Julia: ‘I am so sorry, sorry sweetheart, you did amazing you know that right? … you did incredible’.
Paul said: ‘Well done, you did well’.
Julia said: ‘Of course I will carry on baking, it’s my passion, I am very lucky to find my passion in something I enjoy doing and absolutely love. I am only 21 and there is only one place to go now, and that is up.’
Julia (Aged 21) – West Sussex
Originally from Kemerovo, Siberia, Julia met her British husband Matt on holiday in Turkey when she was 17. Julia taught herself to bake from a young age, however, any time she wanted to bake, she would have to save up money from her after school job to buy the ingredients. After moving to the UK, Julia dreamed of applying for The Great British Bake Off and so she spent three years practising and studying British bakes in particular, so she would have the knowledge and skills she needed.
Julia will join Jo Brand on The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice on Thursday 5 October, Channel 4 at 10.00 pm.