Introducing the Great British Bake Off contestants for series 2

Having missed the first episode of The Great British Bake Off last week, I have been catching up on iPlayer this afternoon and doing some digging around to see who the new Great British Bake Off contestants are.

A regular prime time TV appearance in a reality show can be a once in a lifetime opportunity for those who capitalise on the exposure.

So it’s no surprise many of this year’s contestants are making their mark in social media. Here is a list of those I have tracked down so far:

Holly Bell previously trained as a midwife and is the only contestant I already knew from Twitter and her blog. She tweets as @hollybellmummy and has been writing about family friendly food at Recipes from a Normal Mum since June 2010.

Mary-Anne Boermans of Worcestershire tweets as @wotchers and started a blog about good value easy to cook food at Time to Cook Online in July. For a new site, 7000+ page views in under two months is a fantastic start.

Urvashi Roe tweets as @botanicalbaker and in July started a blog of the same name about “baking inspired by nature’s botanical garden” with sections on flowers, fruit, plants and vegetables. She created The Botanical Baker facebook page in July.

Simon Blackwell of Simple Pies tweets as @buff_baker and has started a pie business. Since entrants already working in the food industry are barred from taking part in Bake Off, we can assume this is a dream Simon has followed since filming was completed earlier in the summer.

Yasmin Limbert is currently quiet on Twitter with followers and followings in single figures but we can assume that will all change as the series progresses. Yasmin started her blog with a single post in May this year followed by a frenetic almost daily posting in June before going quiet again over the summer. I especially like her pictures.

Check shirted Robert Billington currently works as a photographer but dreams of being a patissier in Paris. As yet he has no blog but has tweeted he is creating one. Even before seeing last week’s episode, I knew he was the one who dropped the cake. Robert tweets at @robertbillingto and despite the lack of website has the most twitter followers of all entrants I’ve found – it must be those twinkly eyes?

Joanne Wheatley is based in Essex, she tweets as @joannewheatley and started her blog Jo’s Blue Aga in June this year. The Jo’s Blue Aga Facebook page has the most fans so far at 349 (this afternoon but likely to soar).

Engineering student Jason White from Croydon began his site Preheat the Oven in January 2011 and started posting on his Preheat the Oven facebook page as the first episode aired. I haven’t found him on Twitter yet but suspect he’s there somewhere. Although I’m under the impression commercial bakers are barred from taking part in the show, maybe they’ve changed the rules as Jason’s site says he has been selling his cakes since 2006.

The other Great British Bake Off contestants are:

  • Graphic designer Ben Frazer from Northampton
  • Ian Vallance from Bedfordshire
  • Grandmother of three, Janet Basu from Formby
  • Keith from Berkshire (made the Chuggington cake – already out)

If you know of any blogs or twitter accounts of these other Great British Bake Off contestants, do leave details in the comments below and I will update the list.

Going on how active everyone has been since filming took place in May, can you guess how far everyone is going to go?

Come back next week when I’ll be testing whether Mary Berry’s Luxury Lemon Drizzle Cake out of a packet at Waitrose would be good enough to get on to the show….

If you’d like to know what it’s like auditioning for the Great British Bake Off read my previous post here.

Follow my Twitter list of Great British Bake Off contestants and presenters.


  1. says

    thanks for the heads up Sarah, I completely missed the start too – so need to sit down & catch up!!! Your low down on the blogs/twits/faces seem like super sleuthing (sp!!) – do you think we can predict the winner by their ramblings!!! Let the betting commence!! x

  2. says

    Simon tweets as buff-baker I believe. I can’t call this years just yet!! Just love Jo and Holly so far. So darned nice.

  3. says

    I also missed the first episode, looking forward to catching up on iPlayer (and also catching up on commenting on blog posts…). nice to see some cute boys in the competition this time round (or should I say *more* cute boys… sorry, Ed!)

  4. says

    Thanks for this – Have had a nosey at all the blogs now. I absolutely love the programme. Get so excited about it. Can’t wait for bread next week. I really don’t want any spoilers, though. Eeek.

  5. says

    Keith =

    You’ve got to love a bit of Train Cake.

    Also, as far as the rules went this year (I got through to final auditions but alas just didn’t make the cut…) I think baking couldn’t be your main source of income, which implies that people that do it on the side for a bit of money would be allowed.

    Mikey (@kindofchoux)

  6. says

    Wow – that is great work! I wondered what web presence the contestants had, and you’ve just presented (nearly) all the information in one post! How did you manage to track it all down? Thank you!

    • Sarah, Maison Cupcake says

      Thanks – I’ve just visited, it looks like his videos are down at the moment but I’ll keep checking back to see if they reappear.

  7. says

    I guess I’ll just have to wait for a bootleg upload to YouTube to get to see this show. I really wish iPlayer worked in the U.S. Thanks for linking to some new blogs for me to check out, though!

  8. nickki says

    I’m loving this show! I’ve found a few of their pages on FB/Twitter but I didn’t realise Yasmin had a blog..great informative post! I really like Holly and Jo.

  9. Janet Basu says

    I’d just like to say that as well as being a grandmother of 3, I am also a linguist. I loved the Bake-Off. I haven’t laughed as much for ages, and it is something which, until now, I would not have had time to do. It was challenging but tremendous fun, and I learned so much, which is helping me now, to be a better baker. Thanks to everyone. Janet

    • Jan Christian says

      Hello Janet, We thought your marzipan Christmas biscuits looked the best thing on the show for ages, but we can’t find a recipe for them anywhere! Any chance you’d be willing to share it with us?
      Many thanks,

    • Callum says

      Hi Janet. That’s great to hear. Your baking has got a lot of people asking about how you make the unique bakes. I run an independent site for the show and I’ve had quite a number of people asking for your rose-shaped apple tarlets and the christmas marzipan biscuits! Would it be possible to get the recipes for these?

      Looking forward to the rest of the series and will be rooting for you! :)

  10. says

    I think the judges are very rude in this show.It makes me feel bad to see the contestants fail but they make it even more obivious to viewers, id like to see if they are able to cook the dishes given.I also think that this show is very good but the judges comments ruin it for me, Everyone Makes mistake and they are billionaire chef, give them the benefit of the doubt.

    • Sarah, Maison Cupcake says

      It’s just formulaic reality show stuff isn’t it. It’s not as manipulative as some shows – Come Dine With Me is the worst – but I reckon they cast a few people deliberately who they think will fail early on.

  11. Rob says

    Oh, I am so cross!!!! How dare they get rid of both boys when clearly Jasmine was bottom of the pile?

    Shame on you BBC.

    I am almost minded to boycott the rest of the show.

    Particularly disgraceful to get rid of Jason when he’d been the only one to be star baker twice.

    No-one can be good at everything and no-one on this show has been so far.

    Majorly disappointed with this incredibly short-sighted and poor decision.

    What does everyone else think?


  12. Anna says

    I love the whole concept of the program but I cannot stand the presenter who has dark hair, she just doesn’t fit in the program.

  13. Janet Basu says

    Anna, the programme was such fun to be in, believe me. I think the presenter to whom you are referring is Sue Perkins. I can only say that she was simply wonderful, really really lovely throughout and very funny. I can’t imagine that anyone could have any objection to her at all. quite the reverse.

    • Sarah, Maison Cupcake says

      Lovely to see you here Janet…. my friend Nicola says you were one of her teachers at school?

  14. Fiona lawson says

    Janet, you were a star. Love your laid-back approach when all the others got flustered. Telling your buns not to mess about in the oven was hilarious. Well done

  15. miss sprightly says

    hi, all and esp Janet!!! was really excited to sit and watch tgbbo every week, i made my whole family watch it with me too and i think now they understand how much passion and love one must put into baking, i got s many great tips from that show and cant wait for series three!


  1. […] Throughout the program, we see various sizes of the iconic Mason Cash mixing bowl and some more fantastic pieces from Typhoons vintage range and so, safe in the knowledge that the contestants were using the best products for the job, we loosened our waistbands and settled in for eight weeks of sweet, decadent indulgence! To catch up with The Great British Bake Off Series 2 on BBC iPlayer, click here. Or to find out more about each contestant, and follow them on Twitter, click here. […]