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Claire

Claire lives in Cheshire, where she works as a speech and language therapist. She has been baking since she was 11 years old. Both her mother and grandmother were wedding cake decorators and her father a chef; they all taught her crucial techniques that should come in handy for the Bake Off - Claire and her sister Katie were even told to choose a specialist bake that they could learn by heart as their true signature bake!

Before marrying husband Carl, Claire used to be a chaotic baker, but her chemist husband's precision has greatly influenced her in the kitchen. Claire is known for her unorthodox approach to slimming clubs, often bringing along cakes for her fellow slimmers.

Claire loves making cakes and pastries, particularly Chelsea buns, and her sense of fun and mischief shine through in her baking. She likes to decorate extravagantly with real attention to detail, always researching and playing around with different ingredients.

Claire in her own words

How did you get into baking?

My mum and nana would always bake with me and my sister when we were children. There was never a shop bought scone in our house, (which were skinny on the fruit, my nana would say), and mum used to make all our friend's birthday cakes. When I met my husband Carl, it appeared his house had been the same; my mother-in-law Sylvia is a mean baker! My husband he learnt his baking skills in the same way I did, and now we bake together. We are quite different in style, but it is something we love to do.

When I was in my late twenties I became very ill with clinical depression and anxiety and had to give up work. Both Carl and my Mum encouraged me to introduce things, from a short walk, to making something to distract me. I started to bake different things and it gave me a focus and occupied me. I eventually went back to work and then I went on Bake Off. Bonkers!

What sets you apart from other bakers?

I hope that my presentation skills and quirky ideas will set me apart from other bakers. If I am asked to create something, I am not going to do something that is boring, traditional or run of the mill. This will either be my strength or my downfall!

Why did you apply to be on The Great British Bake Off?

I watch the show every year and adore it. I applied to be on the Bake Off after my friend sent me the link to the application form with a note saying, 'do it, you really know your stuff'. I just kind of dismissed it and thought, I'd never get on. My husband also encouraged me, I filled out the application and everything just snowballed!

What’s the one thing that you can do better than anyone you know?

Bake and decorate a cake! I can also touch my nose with my bottom lip!

What’s your favourite thing to bake?

Prinzregenstorte with Irish cream swiss meringue buttercream and hand-raised pork and peach pies.

Who is scarier, Mary or Paul?

Paul. He is mean and has Satan's eyes.

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