Great British Bake Off contestants named for 2016 series

image captionThe class of '16 - who will be this year's Great British Bake Off champion?

A pastor, a hairdresser, a nurse and an aerospace engineer are among those who will be seen competing for this year's Great British Bake Off crown.

Viewers will see 12 amateur bakers trying to impress judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood when the new series begins on BBC One on 24 August.

Last year's winner Nadiya Hussain was a big success and Hollywood said this year's crop had felt the pressure.

"Nadiya went to a whole new level... it put pressure on them more," he said.

"I think we felt it in the tents as well. They started quite nervously, but once they settled down they got into it."

Berry concurred, saying: "They know the standard that it is, which is now pretty high. And I think they were slower to bond this year than they were in the past."

A teacher, a student and a garden designer are also among the hopefuls. Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins will return to host the show.

Find out more about the contestants:

image captionClockwise from top left: Candice, Tom, Jane and Selasi
  • Secondary school PE teacher Candice, 31, grew up in London in the pubs her parents ran. She now lives with boyfriend and pug in Bedfordshire. She was taught to bake by her nan and claims she usually bakes in her pyjamas.
  • Tom, 26, grew up in Rochdale and moved to London after university. He now works for The Royal Society of Arts. Having lost 30kg (4st 10lb), he still enjoys baking but believes in everything in moderation.
  • Garden designer Jane, 61, from Beckenham, south London, says she is up at 5am most mornings to bake bread. She learnt the art of baking from her father and grandfather, who owned a bakery in Hastings, Sussex.
  • Originally from Ghana, 30-year-old Selasi moved to the UK with his family 15 years ago. He now lives with his girlfriend in London, where he works as a client service associate in the finance sector.
image captionClockwise from top left - Val, Michael, Benjamina and Lee
  • Val, 66, is a former primary school head teacher from Yorkshire who now lives with husband near Yeovil, Somerset. She took over her family's baking aged 15 and says she can make the classics with her eyes closed.
  • At 20, Michael is the youngest of this year's contenders. He is from London but is currently studying politics and economics in Durham. His kitchen creations are also influenced by his family's Cypriot roots.
  • Benjamina started baking nine years ago at the age of 14. She recently graduated with a first in economics and now fits her baking around a job as a teaching assistant in south London.
  • Lee, who lives in Bolton, is the oldest contestant at 67. He began his career as a builder but switched careers and has worked in pastoral ministries for the past 30 years, most recently as pastor in a church in the Greater Manchester town.
image captionClockwise from top left - Rav, Kate, Andrew and Louise
  • Rav, 28, claims to be "adventurous and experimental" and likes to use unusual ingredients. He is especially inspired by far eastern cuisine and enjoys vegan baking. The 28-year-old works supporting students at City University in London.
  • Kate, 37, is a nurse on an acute respiratory ward. Her passion for baking began as a child and she says she enjoys using the seasonal fruit she gathers with her children on her parents' farm in Norfolk.
  • By day, Andrew, 25, works as an aerospace engineer designing jet engines for Rolls-Royce. He lives with friends in Derby and, in his spare time, tries to apply his engineering mentality to push the boundaries of baking.
  • Cardiff hairdresser Louise, 46, really got into baking when making cakes for charity bake sales at work. She enjoys creating elaborate cake designs and experimenting with different flours and flavours in bread.

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