Belfast Telegraph

Bake Off star Steph Blackwell didn't think she'd last as long as she has

Nerves: Steph Blackwell
Nerves: Steph Blackwell

By Lucy Mapstone

Great British Bake Off favourite Steph Blackwell has said she had "so little belief" in her capabilities that she expected to be eliminated earlier in the competition.

The 28-year-old shop assistant is in the finale of the Channel 4 baking show along with teacher Alice and international health adviser David following weeks of gruelling challenges set for them by judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith.

Having been named star baker four times throughout the series Steph has been named the favourite to win the series by bookmakers Ladbrokes and Coral.

However, speaking ahead of the grand finale, which airs tonight at 8pm, she said that repeatedly coming out on top left her more nervous as it added to the pressure of having to keep performing at a high level.

Steph said: "I never expected or even thought about getting a star baker prior to filming. I was so astonished that I had made it into the Bake Off tent and had so little belief in my capabilities that 'success' was never something I considered, it was just a case of how long until they realise I'm not good enough!"

London-based David Atherton (36) shared a similar sentiment, saying that he "never thought I'd make it to the final", however, unlike Steph, he said that he felt his nerves "diminished as the competition progressed".

Londonder Alice Fevronia (28) who teaches geography, said that both times she was named star baker she was shocked and made sure she did not look too far ahead. "My aim for each week was just to survive and try to enjoy it," she said. "Being proud of what I had done was what mattered, not winning. Both times I was star baker, it was a shock, and a lovely one, but I just took every week one by one, and tried not to look too far ahead."

On finding fame on the small screen, she said: "It's a weird experience seeing yourself on TV. I think I'm quite self-critical. I just wish someone had told me how many weird facial expressions I make!"

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