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GBBO's Flora admits 'feeling young' as she exits semi-final

Published 01/10/2015

Flora Sheddon made the final four contestants of the Great British Bake Off (BBC/PA)
Flora Sheddon made the final four contestants of the Great British Bake Off (BBC/PA)

Nineteen-year-old Flora Shedden, who exited the Great British Bake Off in the semi-final, has admitted she often felt young and inexperienced on the show.

"There were moments when I did feel my age and that I was lacking a certain experience," the Bake Off's youngest contestant revealed.

"In week five I didn't know what an Arctic Roll was until we got into the tent, but then I am only 19."

But she got on well with all the other bakers because of their "common interest" - despite the age gap, Flora said.

It was a competitive semi-final last night, with Flora leaving the tent despite coming first in the technical challenge. Her chocolate souffle was deemed by judge Mary Berry to have a "lovely texture and flavour".

But her showstopper chocolate centrepiece, a cocoa carousel with chocolate and pecan shortbread horses, fell flat - actually collapsing as it was sliced, leaving the judges unimpressed.

Flora's signature challenge, a passion fruit and chocolate tart with macarons, also failed to impress with its flavour. "It's just not coming together," she complained during the challenge. "I should probably be just concentrating on a tart and that's it, and not venturing into other minefields - but I always do."

She had repeatedly been critcised throughout the series for complicating her bakes by adding extra decorative elements.

Flora said she planned to continue baking as she'd never known life without it, coming from a long line of female bakers. "From an early age my mother and grandmother influenced me to bake starting with something simple like pancakes and fairycakes," she explained.

"There was always lots of sprinkles and icing sugar. All the women in my family have always baked, and I think I am just a copy cat of my mum. She and my grandmother have been a great inspiration."

The teenager has now started a degree in art history at the University of St Andrews, having worked at an art gallery near her Perthshire home in Scotland during filming.

She admitted she had initially been "intimidated" by Hollywood and Berry, especially when she knew her bakes had gone badly: "That horrible sense of dread waiting for the judges wasn't fun."

But she appreciated the positive feedback: "Mary said quite a few of my bakes were beautiful which is a really nice thing, and Paul said my combination of flours in bread week were bang on. That was quite a good comment to get from him."

The amateur baker also revealed that friends and family have been poking fun at her TV appearances: "I watch the show with my family and friends and everyone has loved it, even though I do get a bit of teasing from certain lines that I have said. Each week I have tried to bake a variation of what I make in the episode.

"I really never expected to get to the semi finals, but then I didn't expect to get into the tent in the first place."

It was a better week for Nadiya Jamir Hussain, who was crowned Star Baker for a third time - catching up with Ian Cumming, who notched up three wins earlier in the series.

After coming last in the technical challenge, Nadiya was convinced she had put herself out of the running, crying as she said: "I know I'm going to go home. I'm going to do the best showstopper I can, but I don't think I'm going to - I don't think it's going to be" before becoming overwhelmed with tears.

But her peanut salted caramel and chocolate tart had earned her a rare handshake from Hollywood, and her showstopper was even more impressive. She presented the judges with a blue and green chocolate peacock, which Hollywood called "a great piece of art".

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