The Version Interview... Sophie from The Great British Bake Off 2017.
As a former officer with the British Army and a potential film stunt star of the future, Sophie is used to action packed adrenaline but put her in The Great British Bake Off tent and life, she admits, is way more pressurised.
Smiling, the 33-year-old says it’s far easier climbing up a vertical rock climb than it is baking under the watchful eye of Prue and Paul.
But the chatty baker, who lives in Surrey, would not have it any other way as she readily confides being part of this year’s Bake Off is a great life experience.
And it would never have happened if it had not been for the help of her boyfriend, David.
“He actually put the initial application in,” she explains. “I had been looking at going on a course for a while at a patisserie college as it’s something I love doing but I couldn’t really afford it. I saw they were accepting applications and before I knew it, David had started applying.
“But never in a million years did I think I would get on! I just thought ‘let’s chuck it in and see what happens’. And now here I am talking about being one of the 12 bakers taking part in this year’s Bake Off. “
A self-taught baker, Sophie says she vowed from the start to put everything into the experience.
“Walking in to that tent first time is so much harder than training to be a stunt woman, which I am currently doing,” she says. “For that, we have been doing everything from rock climbing to equestrian but there is just so much pressure baking in the tent.
“That said; I am the type of person who puts 110 per cent effort in. Being on this show is an amazing experience and I vowed right from the start to try my hardest.”
She says one of the main barriers she found herself overcoming on the first day was reminding herself not to keep worrying about who would go first. “You don’t want to be the first one to leave and so there is that added pressure,” she adds. “Of course it was nerve-wracking but at the same time, I really think it helped me that I was from a military background as we set about making our cakes. Just like the military, you know that if something doesn’t go right, there is always a way around it. She pauses and then jokes: “But I am not so sure my cleanliness in the tent was up to military standards! My work station was carnage!”
Paul was the judge she wanted to impress most. “My heart was racing when they came up to look at my cake,” she says. “Paul was the judge I wanted to impress most because he had been there from the start. When you are standing there, the enormity of it all really does hit you.”
Sophie thinks she will take away a lot from the experience. “Getting a place on GBBO is life-changing for me,” says Sophie, beaming. “Obviously my boyfriend takes all the credit for taking the first steps! But what’s lovely is our passion for food is something we both have in common and he is so proud of me. It still feels surreal, to be honest, and I don’t think it will really sink in until the first episode airs. Being part of this year’s line-up will be something I will remember for the rest of my life.”