Who Is Tasha Stones, Bake Off’s First Ever Deaf Contestant?

She's joined onscreen by a BSL interpreter, Daryl


by Charlotte Roberts |
Updated on

The ultimate cosy autumn viewing, we're fully invested in this year's Great British Bake Off. Already a fan favourite, the show’s first ever deaf contestant, Tasha Stones, has impressed the judges and was crowned star baker in biscuit week thanks to her Japanese Katsu & Matcha illusion showstopper, the star was not only awarded the title of Star Baker for biscuit week, she also landed herself the infamous Paul Hollywood handshake.

Reflecting her win, Tasha said 'It's the weirdest feeling because you put all this time and this energy, and at the end of the day, it's a cake or a biscuit... Something you eat, but it means so much. And, yeah, it's a really good feeling. I am so proud.'

Why did Tasha leave Bake Off on chocolate week?

During Chocolate Week, Tasha had to withdraw from the show due to medical reasons. Filmed during a heatwave earlier in the year, Tasha was overwhelmed by the sweltering temperatures in the tent. A medic came over to assist her, telling her to breathe slowly before escorting her out of the tent. She was back the following episode for party week, here she impressed the judges with her picnic piece.

Who is Tasha Stones?

After initially being too scared to apply for the show, the 27-year-old is among the cast of bakers in the iconic tent in the hopes of being crowned this year’s winner. The Participation Officer from Bristol is joined by her British Sign Language interpreter Daryl.

Tasha spoke about how emotional it was to see her British Sign Language interpreter Daryl first introduced to the rest of the cast.

'It was a big moment when Noel introduced not only Alison, but also Daryl as part of the line-up,' she said. 'Seeing Daryl at the front and feeling fully part of the show was a special moment. I couldn’t have done it without him and without the dedication from the show ensuring I had the same access as the other bakers.'

And in a sweet turn of events, the rest of Tasha's Bake Off cast - including the hosts and judges - brushed up on their BSL ahead of filming.

Opening up about learning sign language in order to chat to the contestant, Prue Leith said, 'Paul was terrific and he learnt a lot. I just about managed to learn how to say "good luck" and "well done."'

Tasha has long been an advocate for the community, working at the National Deaf Children’s Society. Many have been googling whether the star was born deaf, but as of yet, she hasn't addressed this.

Her love of baking came from her family – with her one of her favourite childhood memories being licking sugar icing from the tops of the fairy cakes she she made with her mother and grandmother.

The star was encouraged to turn her baking into more than a hobby by teachers in school, bringing in sweet treats for her secondary school teachers and challenging herself with some more intricate breaks.

Away from the Bake Off tent, Tasha enjoys going to the theatre and travelling the world - which you can follow along with over on her Instagram.

The British public fell for Tasha straight away.

One tweeted, 'Great British Bake Off having a deaf contestant that has a cochlear implant, signs, and has a visible, on screen interpreter has truly made my day and made me feel so seen and represented. I'm rooting for Tasha all the way.'

Another added, ‘Well done to the GBBO for their inclusivity this season by having their first-ever deaf contestant. I love to see deaf people thriving in hearing spaces.’

BSL interpreter Daryl is also proving a hit - with viewers already pleading with him to teach the world how to sign 'soggy bottom.'

Speaking about the importance of seeing representation on screen, CEO of the British Deaf Association Rebecca Mansell said, 'Awareness is getting out there and I'm so proud, but we want more of this on mainstream TV.'

With Tasha going from strength to strength in the tent, it's no doubt going to be an exciting journey for this baker.

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