LIAM SETS HIS SIGHTS ON BEING A HOUSEHOLD NAME
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
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