The Woman Who Ate A Pack Of Crisps On Bake Off Is Our Relatable Hero

The new season of Great British Bake Off has already created an icon

The Woman Who Ate A Pack Of Crisps On Bake Off Is Our Relatable Hero

by Phoebe Parke |
Published on

The Great British Bake Off is back again, so expect lots of chat about soggy bottoms, Paul Hollywood’s hand shake and lovely sausages. The first episode saw the contestants battle it out in biscuit week – creating regional biscuits, a wagon wheel in the technical challenge and a 3D biscuit selfie for the showstopper.

The best moment for us?

When Karen Wright, 60, finished her first biscuit bake (some Yorkshire Perkin biscuits) early and sat on her stool munching on some cheese and onion crisps from her lunchbox, while the other contestants flapped around her.

Karen, an in-store sampling assistant from West Yorkshire, may have finished in good time, but Paul Hollywood wasn’t too impressed with her biscuits, telling her they 'look amazing,' but 'I don't like the texture, it's like a very, very small cookie. It didn't blow me away.’

That wasn’t the only talking point from the first episode – viewers were up in arms when they found out that this week’s star baker, 26-year-old Manon Lagreve, has already competed in a BBC cooking show – The Box back in 2015.

The show saw home cooks using a box full of mystery ingredients to create a dish – sound familiar? It’s not so different from Bake Off’s technical challenge – but Manon’s TV show past is no surprise to the Bake Off's producers.

A Great British Bake Off spokesperson said: ‘We are fully aware that Manon appeared in one episode of The Box and this does not affect her eligibility to take part in The Great British Bake Off.’

Manon may be a favourite to win after her stellar performance in episode one, but we’d like to see more of crisp-munching Karen in the next few weeks please!

READ MORE: Who Are This Year's Great British Bake Off Contestants?


bake off contestants 2018 - grazia

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CREDIT: Instagram @britishbakeoff


Jon can certainly boast the most dramatic job title of this year's Bake Off cohort: he helps save lives working as a blood courier in Newport, Wales, and bakes for his wife and four kids as a way to unwind. Judging from his GBBO promo shot, he also loves a Hawaiian shirt and seems like a generally affable chap.Most likely to: Smile like an awkward dad when Noel Fielding tries to crack on with some blood-based 'comedy' riffs.

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CREDIT: Instagram @britishbakeoff


Looking like a shoo-in for this year's charming older lady who we'd like to adopt as our mum is Karen, 60, who works as an in-store sampling assistant and was encouraged by her daughters to apply for the show. Plus, she says that she really got into baking when she lived in France, which opens up potential opportunities for bonding with fellow contestant Manon. Most likely to: Strike up a life long friendship with Sandi Toksvig.

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CREDIT: Instagram @britishbakeoff


33-year-old Imelda is a countryside recreation officer (doesn't that sound delightful?) from County Tyrone in Northern Ireland. She says that her mum – who taught her to bake – inspired her to give the Bake Off a go this year. Most likely to: Emerge from nowhere as a mid-season hot favourite out of the blue. We can just see the determination in her eyes.

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CREDIT: Instagram @britishbakeoff


30-year-old banker Antony describes himself as the 'Bollywood baker,' which could also handily double up as the title for his own spin-off show, should he prove successful in the GBBO tent. He says he was once a singer 'in a two piece band,' which could provide us with some musical diversions, and appears to have very well-coiffed hair.Most likely to: Do some #spon for a boujee London grooming spot after leaving the show.

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CREDIT: Instagram @britishbakeoff


Kim-Joy works as a mental health specialist in Leeds, and reckons that her international background (she was born in Belgium, has an English father and a Malaysian-Chinese mother) accounts for her eclectic baking style. Her favourite thing is bread. Same, Kim-Joy, same. Most likely to: Swap hair colouring tips with Noel Fielding. She's owning the purple dip dye thing.

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CREDIT: Instagram @britishbakeoff


On paper, Terry sounds like the ultimate hipster parody. He has a Poirot-esque handlebar moustache. He has a microbrewery. He'll be bringing produce grown in his own allotment into the tent. But, wait – Terry is a 56-year-old former air steward slash prosthetic technician from the West Midlands! Most likely to: Temporarily appease the wrath of Paul Hollywood with an IPA-infused bake.

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CREDIT: Instagram @britishbakeoff


Ruby is another contestant that credits her mum with inspiring her love of baking. These days, she enjoys making cakes, pastries and 'boozy treats' for her friends. Judging from her Instagram account, she's quite the jet setter – and has really great hair. Most likely to: Win. We have a good feeling about this.

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CREDIT: Instagram @britishbakeoff


36-year-old Dan is a full-time dad, who says he's taking part in the competition for 'selfish reasons': after looking after his kids for six years, he wants a little me time when his youngest starts school. Seems reasonable enough, Dan, go forth and bake.Most likely to: Be a hit with the mum crowd.

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CREDIT: Instagram @britishbakeoff


Baker, civil servant, house and techno DJ: Luke is renaissance man for our times. He says he's been baking since he was 10, when he used to help his nan in the kitchen. He also loves to have music playing when he cooks which, given his avowed love of techno, has the potential to really change the ambience in the Bake Off tent. Most likely to: Attempt to explain the nuanced differences between trance, techno and EDM to Prue Leith.

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CREDIT: Instagram @britishbakeoff


The youngest of this year's contestants is 26-year-old Manon, who was born and raised in Brittany, France but says she's been inspired to bake more since living in London – and since watching old series of GBBO with her friends Most likely to: Land a lucrative deal for a series of 'How To Bake Like A French Girl' cookbooks after charming the nation. And finally inspire us to get balayage.

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CREDIT: Instagram @britishbakeoff


Research scientist Rahul moved to the UK from India seven years ago. Now living in Doncaster, he describes his baking style as 'East meets West' and reckons that his job has made him more stringent with the details in the kitchen. Most likely to: Confuse Paul Hollywood with a Heston-esque multi-sensory showstopper involving dry ice.

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CREDIT: Instagram @britishbakeoff


Full-time mum Briony honed her baking talent watching YouTube tutorials, and is now ready to take her skills offline in the Bake Off tent. And judging from her promo picture, she likes a botanical print, of which we also approve.Most likely to: Sign off her Showstopper pitch to the judges with 'Don't forget to hit like and let me know what you think down in the comments!'

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