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A York graduate is taking part in The Great British Bake off this year

He made a three-tier, 12 layer, birthday cake for his 21st and I’m obsessed


A recent University of York graduate is taking part in this year’s Great British Bake Off.

Rowan Claughton studied English Literature at York and, at 21, he is the youngest contestant to enter the Bake Off tent this year.

He told Channel 4 that his motto is “Go big, or go home”, something he has always applied to his bakes.

As a regular viewer of the show, Rowan has said that getting to bake in the tent was a life goal. He described his reaction to getting the call confirming his place: “I did the only thing appropriate – I slid to the floor, screamed down the phone and ran to the shops for a bottle of prosecco, all before getting back to join the group wash-up in my uni house”.

Rowan isn’t the first York student to appear in the tent, recently Freya Cox appeared in the 2021 series whilst studying psychology at the uni. He said that Freya and Henry Bird (another student contestant) were both inspirations for him as they both had “the most infectious personalities”.

“They had such skill, so many jokes and just a great vibe which encouraged me to apply whilst still studying”.

Whilst at uni, Rowan was a keen host who would wow his uni friends with his bakes. He even made his own 21st birthday cake, which was a three-tier, 12 layer “extravaganza” – I’m actually obsessed.

When asked what he would bake up if he had to make a cake of himself in his happiest moment, he said: “It would probably be a sugar depiction of my uni house and I, ready to host our friends for the night. The calm before the storm is always better than the storm itself, and we love to predict how the night will go over a vodka or three. Picture that, only in cake form”.

When Rowan saw the famous white tent for the first time, he said that “it looks like the great pyramids of Giza – just with slightly less history.” Whilst he expected there to be a lot of crew members on set, he said that he didn’t expect them to become friends: “They were as big a part of the experience as the baking was, and every single one of them helped us be the best versions of ourselves.”

During the first week of filming, he said that all the bakers became “fast friends” and that standing with “incredible people” as THE Alison Hammond walked into the tent with “a laugh as warm as the ovens themselves” was a moment he’ll never forget: “I literally melted down my bench” (I mean who wouldn’t??).

The Great British Bake Off starts on Tuesday 26th September at 8pm on Channel 4, and I’m SO excited to see Rowan on our screens.

Featured image via @rowanclaughton and Channel 4.

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