The Great British Bake Off: Here's how past Northern Ireland contestants have fared on show

While there may be no Northern Ireland representation in this year’s batch of bakers, we’ve certainly had our fair share of success with past contestants on The Great British Bake Off.

Previous Northern Ireland contestants have had mixed fortunes on the show down through the years since it first aired in 2010.

Holywood man Andrew Smyth came second in 2016, but engineer Iain Watters memorably lost his cool after his Baked Alaska melted, causing him to throw it in the bin in a rage.

Edited highlights saw fellow contestant Diana Beard remove the dessert from the freezer, leading to claims of sabotage.

As Judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith return alongside presenters Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas for the latest GBBO instalment, we look back on the highs and lows of the past Northern Ireland faces who have graced the famous tent.

Mark Lutton, week six, 2020

Portadown native Mark Lutton managed to make it to week six before being eliminated from the show during Japanese week after what judge Prue Leith described as “a disaster of a showstopper”.

The bakers were tasked with a signature challenge of Japanese steamed buns, which Mark did fairly well in but was told his burger-style buns were a little dry.

Mark’s technical round, which involved a tricky recipe of stacked matcha pancakes, also saw him take a middle spot place.

But it was the showstopper round, themed around kawaii, which proved to be his undoing.

He fell in love with baking through an Edinburgh pie shop he visited daily while at university.

Mark, who now lives in Liverpool where he is a project manager, took part in the show when it was filmed during lockdown.

He admitted he wasn’t even sure he would get on the show after a substantial audition process and had almost accepted defeat before he got the final call to say he had made it.

© Channel 4 Mark Lutton

Imelda McCarron, week one, 2018

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council countryside recreation officer Imelda McCarron was among the 2018 batch of bakers, having learned to cook and bake with her mother.

The Dromore woman has said taking part in Bake Off was “one of the best experiences” of her life, despite being the first contestant to leave this year’s show.

Biscuit Week saw Imelda’s cherry, white chocolate and coconut flakemeal biscuits impress the judges in the signature challenge.

However, her wagon wheels fell flat in the subsequent technical challenge, leaving her in 11th place. Her “selfie” lemon and ginger biscuit was compared to “stale shortbread” by Hollywood and deemed “a little bland and dry” by Leith.

© Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions/PA Wire Great British Bake Off contestant Imelda McCarron

Andrew Smyth, finalist, 2016

Andrew Smyth grew up in Holywood with parents Kay and Nigel, and his younger brother Jamie, an architect. He was influenced in baking by his granny, Helen McDowell and made her chocolate cake in the Bake Off final.

Andrew studied aerospace engineering at Cambridge University and worked for Rolls Royce designing jet engines.

He now splits his time between working as a TV personality and researching aerospace engineering.

On GBBO, Andrew made a cake featuring a gingerbread man punting down the River Cam, and a moving set of gear-shaped savoury pies, inspired by the technical designs of Leonardo da Vinci.

He presented the Duke of Cambridge with a cake in the shape of a jet engine during a royal visit to the Rolls-Royce aero engines plant in Derby. So impressed was Prince William that he remarked he’d “have to have a word with Mary Berry” as to why Andrew didn’t win GBBO.

© BBC Andrew was crowned Star Baker in the semi final

Iain Watters, week four, 2014

Belfast-born construction engineer Iain Watters, who now lives in London, is best remembered for the “bin-gate” controversy.

Iain had prepared a Baked Alaska dessert but it was accidentally left out of the freezer by fellow contestant Diana Beard — and subsequently melted. Frustrated, Iain threw the dessert into the bin and was soon voted off the show.

Mary Berry described Iain as “a remarkable baker”, while Hollywood said he was “passionate” about his unusual flavour combinations.

Iain’s parents were passionate about organic foods and this outlook has directly affected his style of baking.

His passion for travelling has taken him to all corners of the globe, and he brings these flavours and influence to the bakes he likes to make.

Iain said of his experiences on the show: “My best moment was the plaited loaf in week three, because everything went so well.

“I got the timing right and Paul liked the flavour and the bake.”

In September 2016 he married Catriona Mills and their wedding cake was…a Baked Alaska.

© BBC Iain left the tent after his meltdown

The Great British Bake Off returns on Tuesday, September 21 on Channel 4 at 9pm.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


How Otsu ended a Red Bull losing streak dating back to Gasly

© Masahide Kamio Hiroki Otsu, Red Bull MUGEN Team Goh Ever since Pierre Gasly came within a whisker of winning the Super Formula title in 2017, expectations have been high ... Read more »

Will there be new faces in the Springbok squad?

© Provided by Independent Online (IOL) Cape Town – With the Springbok squad for next month’s tour to Europe to be named today, will there be any new faces? And ... Read more »

Experts discuss vaccine mandates as ACDP pickets against compulsory jabs

© Provided by Independent Online (IOL) Cape Town – As the battle to convince more people to get vaccinated against Covid-19, legal and health experts have debated how to reassure ... Read more »

What Succession gets wrong (and right) about the super-rich

© HBO Succession – HBO Plans were cancelled, the words “Happy Succession Day” echoed around Twitter, some of us even had alerts on our phone: that’s how excited we were ... Read more »

'A special experience': John Legend thanks busker for singing his song after seeing her perform in Boston

A busker in the US had a chance encounter with John Legend – while singing his hit song All Of Me. © Associated Press John Legend was in Boston for ... Read more »

Sputnik: Vaccine application on hold because of HIV risk concerns

© Provided by The South African The application for the use of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine has been put on hold by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority ... Read more »

New World team share details of upcoming server transfers in Q&A

© Provided by Dot Esports New World players have been eagerly awaiting news on the promised server transfers that Amazon Game Studios announced to remedy long server queues on launch. ... Read more »

Salt Bae's R15K-a-steak restaurant now accused of ‘removing' bad reviews after price backlash

© Provided by Independent Online (IOL) Turkish chef and restaurateur Nusret Gökçe, famously known as ‘Salt Bae’, has been criticised for ’removing’ bad reviews on Google after many complained about ... Read more »

ESPN College Basketball Announcer Dick Vitale Announces Lymphoma Diagnosis

© Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images ESPN college basketball announcer Dick Vitale revealed Monday that he has been diagnosed with lymphoma after being diagnosed and treated for melanoma this summer. ... Read more »

Bolognese off the menu at Pizza Express amid food supply chain crisis

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo The food supply chain crisis has left Pizza Express without ingredients to make spaghetti bolognese. It appears to be linked to problems with imports ... Read more »

Greg Hunt reveals the likelihood of catching Covid-19 if you're fully vaccinated

Health Minister Greg Hunt has revealed how likely Australians are to catch Covid-19 if they are fully vaccinated against the virus. Speaking to 2CC radio on Tuesday, Mr Hunt said ... Read more »

The NHL suspended San Jose Sharks player Evander Kane over COVID-19 policy violations

© Brandon Magnus/NHLI via Getty Images Evander Kane of the San Jose Sharks takes the ice for warmups against the Arizona Coyotes at SAP Center on May 8, 2021, in ... Read more »

Genshin Impact: Predator – how to get it, stats, and ascension materials

© Provided by GamePur The Predator bow is a unique free-to-play weapon that was released alongside the free character Aloy. While the stats and passive benefit her greatly, the weapon ... Read more »

Shilpa Shetty Shocks Fans with Bold Undercut Hairstyle; Salman Khan Rents Bandra Duplex for Rs 8.25 Lakh a Month

© Provided by News18 Actress Shilpa Shetty is one of the most followed Indian celebrities on Instagram with 22.5 million followers. The actress is also a fitness enthusiast, who often ... Read more »

Covid-19 Delta: Person on Waiheke Island tests positive: board chair

A person on Waiheke Island has tested positive for Covid, local board chair Cath Handley says. The Herald has approached the Ministry of Health for comment and is awaiting a ... Read more »

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 13.0: Full patch notes and changes

© Provided by Dot Esports The version 13.0 update for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is now live, which fittingly adds Sora and additional content from the Kingdom Hearts franchise to ... Read more »

Court rulings free Hong Kong police to probe older offences under security law

© Reuters/TYRONE SIU FILE PHOTO: Police ask supporters to leave during the court hearing of Tong Ying-kit, the first person charged under a new national security law near the High ... Read more »

‘The City of Cape Town has robbed my child of her freedom': A mother's plea for help

For 14 years a Lavender Hill mother has had to carry her disabled child up and down three flights of stairs to and from their flat. She has applied to ... Read more »

Ground Level Report: The battle for a seemingly perfect Karoo municipality

The municipality of Prince Albert has never seen a service delivery protest. Crime is almost non-existent. The municipality is one of a rare few to receive a clean audit. It’s ... Read more »

Ramaphosa campaigns in Magashule's Free State heartland promising more young people and women on councils

President Cyril Ramaphosa has traversed suspended ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule’s home territory for the past two days. It was as much about the ANC’s election campaign as it was about ... Read more »

The anatomy of a disaster: A short history of Eskom and South Africa's reliance on coal

When you talk about coal in South Africa, it’s always best to start with some maths. And history. And geology. And then, of course, there is politics. The geology is ... Read more »

It's the political coalitions, stupid!

While the next 12 days will see intense politicking, it is likely that the real test of political leaders will come in the hours and days after the elections. © ... Read more »

How to change your Nintendo Switch Online account from individual to a family

© Provided by GamePur While the value you get in Nintendo Switch Online is debatable between the online functionality and voice chat options, at the end of the day, it ... Read more »

Army veteran Dennis Hutchings dies while on Troubles trial after contracting Covid

Army veteran Dennis Hutchings, whose trial at Belfast Crown Court over a Troubles shooting was adjourned due to his ill health, has died after contracting Covid-19, the PA news agency ... Read more »

U.S. envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad resigns

© T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing On Afghanistan The chief U.S. envoy to the Taliban, U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, tendered his resignation ... Read more »

'Why is PM Modi's photo on my vaccine certificate?'

© Getty Images Peter M has accused India’s prime minister of using the vaccine programme as “a propaganda tool” A court in the southern Indian state of Kerala is due ... Read more »

Maisie Williams dons preppy attire while leaving the Corinthia London

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo She made her acting debut back in 2011, aged 14. And Maisie Williams donned attire synonymous with her younger self on Monday as ... Read more »

The two legacies of Colin Powell

There are two important ways to consider Colin Powell upon his death from complications of Covid-19 despite being fully vaccinated. © Alex Wong/Newsmakers/Getty Images 386468 06: Secretary of State Colin ... Read more »

Colombia is putting its 'cocaine hippos' on birth control

Colombia may have finally found a solution to one of the lesser-known legacies of notorious drug trafficker Pablo Escobar: invasive hippos. © Courtesy Cornare A handful of hippos brought to ... Read more »

While Joburg battles systemic firefighting problems, private brigade moves in

The City of Johannesburg’s firefighting service is in such a dire situation that a private company is stepping in to fill the gap, raising fears that such emergency services could ... Read more »

ALGS coaching rules frustrate, confuse Apex pros

© Provided by Dot Esports Several pro Apex Legends players expressed frustration and confusion with ALGS coaching rules on social media last night after the day’s Pro League matches broadcast ... Read more »

Pokémon Go reveals what cups players can vote to return for Season 9 of Battle League

© Provided by GamePur Pokémon Go is setting up a new Players’ Choice poll for trainers who will be taking part in the Battle League Season 9. The poll will ... Read more »

US to skip Russia-organized talks on Afghanistan

© Getty Images US to skip Russia-organized talks on Afghanistan The State Department on Monday said the U.S. would not be taking part in talks on Afghanistan being held by ... Read more »

LPL teams went 0-8 against LEC and LCS squads during the second round robin of Worlds 2021 group stage, 4-11 overall

© Provided by Dot Esports The LPL representatives went almost flawless during the first round of matches in the group stage of the 2021 League of Legends World Championship. The ... Read more »

Makers Valley: Joburg children follow the food journey — from the farm to their plates

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2, relating to hunger, says ‘children and young people should be at the heart of food systems’. The goal’s aim is to collectively strengthen ... Read more »

Some US schools lift mask mandates; South Africa registers 210 new cases

South Africa registered 210 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the cumulative total to 2,916,803. A further seven Covid-19-related deaths were reported, taking total official deaths to 88,619. A total of 20,381,262 ... Read more »

Barking up the right tree: Pet gear brand wins global award

Treating animals as part of the family is good news for local company Rogz. © Copyright (c) Daily Maverick , All Rights Reserved South African pet gear company Rogz was ... Read more »

Surfer Bethany Hamilton On the Importance of Creating Inclusive Environments for Adaptive Athletes

© Provided by Shape Getty Images For folks with disabilities, going to the gym isn’t always a pleasant experience. In fact, 81 percent of disabled or adoptive athletes do not ... Read more »

Leo: Your finance horoscope - October 19

© Astrofame Leo Right now you could feel like taking a risk of some sort. You have always had a daring, experimental side. Maybe you will ask someone out on ... Read more »