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Food

Didcot’s Star Baker

An interview with Christine Wallace, quarter finalist in The Great British Bake Off: "I am not after Mary's job!"
"The only way that the Didcot Christmas Bake Off resembled the real Bake Off is that they were baking for judges. The whole environment was totally different"

A few weeks ago, a bunch of baking heroes gathered to take part in the first ever Didcot Christmas Bake Off at the Civic Hall. But one of the judges has been there and done that all before! Local baker Christine Wallace appeared on the Great British Bake Off in 2013 and this year helped to launch Didcot’s version of the competition. We caught up with Christine to hear about her life since appearing on the hit TV show.

So did you watch the Great British Bake Off this year or has being on it taken the fun out of the programme?

Yes, I certainly did watch the Bake Off, wouldn't miss it! I certainly watch it from a different 'angle' now because I know what is going on behind the scenes...for instance, the tent looks empty, all but the bakers, judges and Paul and Mary now and then, but I know there are at least 50 other people buzzing about! It hasn't taken the fun out of it at all. In fact it is more fun in that I feel a little smug now!

You were a special guest at the Street Fair last year. Had you been to the fair before and did you enjoy it?

The Bake Off had not been finished for very long when I was the guest at the Street Fair so all the limelight was really new to me! However, I absolutely loved it and leading the procession up through the streets with the Mayor was not only amazing (people shouting my name) but a little surreal. I had been to the Fair before and always enjoyed it.

How close do you think the Didcot Bake Off was to ‘the real’ Bake Off?

The only way that it resembled the real Bake Off is that they were baking for judges. The whole environment was totally different; they were baking at home and most of all, no cameras or interviews throughout the process! Probably not the stress either!

Secretly, are you after Mary Berry’s Job?

Oh NO…I am definitely not after Mary’s job, I would never presume to fill her shoes! I had a wonderful time doing the Bake Off last year and since then I have become the resident baker on Radio Oxford, appeared on shopping channels, opened fetes, done demonstrations at food festivals and judged countless bake offs. I am also teaching down in Wiltshire where I can pass on the skills I have learnt. All in all I am having a ball, really enjoying myself and meeting some lovely people...long may it last!