Smi­ley Liam Charles won over the na­tion in the Bake Off tent last sum­mer – so it’s no sur­prise he’s landed his own show. And this is just the be­gin­ning he tells Ge­or­gia Humphreys

Nottingham Post - - SCREEN SHOTS -

YOU wouldn’t be­lieve Liam Charles is only 21 years old.

Great Bri­tish Bake Off con­tes­tant, cook­book writer, and now the face of his very own TV show – the Hack­ney-born drama stu­dent, nick­named Cake Boy by his friends, is tick­ing off lots of goals.

With his Chan­nel 4 se­ries, Liam Bakes, he hopes to prove that bak­ing can bring peo­ple to­gether, and em­barks on a per­sonal culi­nary cru­sade to share his favourite recipes, while giv­ing an in­sight into his east Lon­don life.

“Every­one does mu­sic and sport and that’s amaz­ing, but it will be nice for peo­ple like me to show peo­ple in my area there’s more to life than just that,” he says of be­ing a role model for young peo­ple.

“Do what­ever you want, as long as it’s pos­i­tive.”

Filmed in and around east Lon­don, Liam, who started bak­ing at 15, will take to the streets of his com­mu­nity to show off the street food he loves to eat when out with his friends.

Mean­while, as he show­cases easy-to-fol­low sweet and savoury bakes, we will also learn how he has been in­spired by the peo­ple clos­est to him.

“There are four recipes per episode; they’re not themed but each has its dis­tinc­tive iden­tity,” elab­o­rates the pre­sen­ter, who we also saw co-host Bake Off: The Pro­fes­sion­als ear­lier this year, with co­me­dian Tom Allen. “There’s one recipe, an Ice Cream Sand­wich and it’s so cool! On each side there’s a dif­fer­ent top­ping – bis­cuits, smar­ties, pop­corn – and ice cream be­tween two bis­cuits.”

With his univer­sity pals, the ex­citable young­ster cooks “Na­cho Or­di­nary Tor­tilla Chips – a sweet take on na­chos”.

Mean­while, his neph­ews, aged 12 and seven, join him on cam­era to help make a “mas­sive” layer cake.

Do they think their un­cle is re­ally cool?

“My youngest one, yeah, I think he thinks I’m cool,” replies Liam with a cheeky grin. “My el­dest nephew plays it down.

“He was telling me some of his friends and all of the teach­ers al­ways want to talk to him now. He said: ‘I get so an­noyed be­cause they al­ways talk about you’.”

His fam­ily and friends chip­ping in to help make the show is some­thing Liam seems par­tic­u­larly proud of.

And Bake Off fans will be chuffed to hear that his nan, who he men­tioned a lot while on the re­al­ity show, has a cameo, when she is speak­ing to Liam on the phone.

“It’s crazy for her, she used to buy me flour and eggs be­cause I was on stu­dent fi­nance,” he shares.

“And she still wants to chip in – she doesn’t 100% get that I’m earn­ing money, she told me to get a part-time job the other day,” he adds with a chuckle.

Liam says he pinches him­self ev­ery day about how his life has changed since be­ing on Bake Off, in which he fin­ished fifth. With such a crazy year be­hind him he feels lucky to have friends and fam­ily keep­ing him grounded.

“If I changed in the slight­est, my Mum would tell me real quick,” he quips.”

For now, Liam has his stud­ies at Gold­smiths Univer­sity to fin­ish

– and he’s still keen to be an ac­tor in the fu­ture. “Drama was my first pas­sion. If it hap­pens it hap­pens, but I def­i­nitely want to be in The Avengers! “The ul­ti­mate goal is to be­come a house­hold name in bak­ing. So when they say, ‘There’s Paul Hol­ly­wood, there’s Mary Berry, there’s Nigella, there’s Liam Charles...’ That’s the ul­ti­mate.”

Liam Bakes starts on Chan­nel 4 on Mon­day at 8pm

Liam Charles fin­ish­ing off his Salted Nut­ter cre­ation

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