If you think you have what it takes to be the next Great British Bake Off champion, you might have to think again.
New research into the iconic show’s finalists has revealed that the average Bake Off expert -and a likely future winner - is just 35 years old, working in a creative career, from the North-West and, most importantly, female.
In order to reach the upper echelons of baking perfection, it also helps to be doing so without a family; the majority of finalists are married, but don’t have any children, and only one finalist in the history of Bake Off had any grandchildren (meaning grandfather to two Lee might be struggling this year).
The research, by money-saving website vouchercloud, revealed that women do dominate, but not by as much as you’d expect - two thirds of winners but only just over half (10/18) of finalists were female.
The iconic show, hitting our screens once more for Season 7 on August 24th (delayed from the 5th August because of the Olympics) takes on contestants of all ages and occupations in a battle royal of baking perfection - as long as they aren’t professional chefs or bakers.
However, the days of your grandmother being the darling of the kitchen baking scene are done – only two finalists were above the age of 50, and 7 of the 18 finalists were aged 30 or below. In fact, only one finalist – Nancy Birtwhistle, Season 5’s eventual winner – was a grandparent.
Only one finalist throughout the duration of the series was even retired – though three were housewives or husbands, and three were students. However, creative careers are where it’s at if you want to progress through the ranks and nail ‘Star Baker’ every week – almost a quarter of all finalists worked in ‘creative’ careers, like photography and design, though almost half (8/18) were honing their baking skills while not working at all (and were either housewives/husbands, students or retired).
This means that Project Engagement Manager Tom, aged 26, who's working at the Royal Society of Arts, might have a good chance at claiming the Bake Off throne (especially as he's also married without children, and lives in the fairly successful London area).
The new student of the group, 20 year-old Michael, might also have a good shot at the gold, though he could be the first ever finalist from the North-East of England, where he's studying at Durham unviersity.
It also seemingly helps to come from a certain region – both the North West and Yorkshire have produced two winners each, with up North claiming four of the six titles on offer. However, when it comes to finalists, it’s the North West and London that dominate, claiming 5 and 3 spots respectively. The South West and, surprisingly, the North East are lagging behind, with neither having contributed a contestant to an iconic GBBO finale.
Chris Johnson, Head of Affiliate Operations, commented:
“It’s really interesting to see that some patterns emerge, despite the varied contestants across the six series so far. The women are only narrowly beating the men, however, and the average age is especially surprising – who’d have thought that when the series started, the average age of the winners and finalists would be just 35, and two contestants under the age of 25 would have won?
“Though all that being said, the winners have ranged from 24 years old to 60, and have been anything from a debt collector to a retired grandmother. It shows that despite the patterns and predictions, the field will always be wide open and it truly will be the best baker that will claim the iconic GBBO title”.
Average Winner's Age
34 years, 10 months
Average Finalist's Age
35 years, 5 months
Half of Winners are Parents (3/6)
The Majority of Finalists are not Parents (10/18)
Half of Winners are Married (3/6)
The Majority of Finalists are Married (10/18)
More data, specifically on region and occupation and the background of each winner and finalist, is available upon request.
Get in touch with Ben Harrow here for more information, or with any questions and queries.