Durham student takes part in The Great British Bake Off

Michael, a 20-year-old Durham University student, is among the contestants on this year's Great British Bake Off.
Michael, a 20-year-old Durham University student, is among the contestants on this year's Great British Bake Off.
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A student from Durham University is one of the 12 hopefuls hoping to cook up a storm in this year's Great British Bake Off.

Michael, 20, is the youngest contestant in the new series of the BBC One show, where they compete to earn the approval of judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.

From left, Rav, Tom, Kate, Lee, Val, Candice, Benjamina , Michael, Selasi, Jane, Andrew and Louise are the contestants for this year's BBC1's cookery contest, The Great British Bake Off.

From left, Rav, Tom, Kate, Lee, Val, Candice, Benjamina , Michael, Selasi, Jane, Andrew and Louise are the contestants for this year's BBC1's cookery contest, The Great British Bake Off.

He's up against a pastor, a PE teacher and an aerospace engineer, who are all hoping to follow in the footsteps of Nadiya Hussain by becoming this year Bake Off champion.

Michael, who is from London, is studying politics and economics at Durham.

Bake Off viewers are sure to see the influence of his Cypriot heritage in his baking, as he loves to make Greek pastries with his grandmother.

He handles sharing a kitchen with four friends by baking late at night or in the early hours.

He may shine in the Showstopper round as he enjoys making "big grand cakes" and combining unusual flavours.

His rivals include Andrew, 25, who will swap jet engines for jellies and jam doughnuts.

Originally from Northern Ireland, he now lives in Derby and works as an aerospace engineer for Rolls-Royce.

The oldest contestant in this year's line-up will be Lee, a 67-year-old who has worked in various pastoral ministries for the past 30 years - most recently as the pastor of his local church in Bolton.

A former builder, he had a complete change of direction in the mid-1980s, when he turned to theology and took up baking - embracing traditional flavours such as vanilla and chocolate.

One contestant, Jane, will draw on a long family tradition of baking when she presents her creations to Hollywood and Berry.

The 61-year-old garden designer's grandfather owned a bakery in Hastings, and as a child she watched her father pipe and ice the cakes.

Tom, 26, has managed to shed 30 kg despite his passion for baking. He believes in "moderation" and works for The Royal Society of Arts in London.

The teaching profession will be well-represented, with 23-year-old teaching assistant Benjamina, 66-year-old former primary school headteacher Val, and 31-year-old secondary school PE teacher Candice all showing off their baking skills.

Also joining them in the Bake Off tent will be 46-year-old Welsh hairdresser Louise, Kate, a 37-year-old nurse from Norfolk, 30-year-old Ghanaian Selasi, who works as a client service associate in a financial institution, and Rav, 28, who helps to support students at City University London.

Bake Off presenters Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins will return for more innuendo-laden patter.

* The Great British Bake Off launches at 8pm on Wednesday August 24 on BBC One.