The Great British Bake Off’s Hermine says leaving is ‘heart-breaking’

The Great British Bake Off’s Hermine says she and her son have nothing but happy memories to take away with them.

She thanked the show’s judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith for helping keep her 10-year-old entertained during the six weeks of filming the show during lockdown. 

London-based Hermine, who grew up in French-speaking Benin, West Africa, said her son Stephen was thrilled to be given a ride in Paul’s car – an Aston Martin – and to be entrusted with walking Prue’s beloved cavalier spaniels. 

She laughed: “Living in the bubble with my son Stephen was amazing, he definitely had the best summer of his life. I could focus on baking and practising, probably more than I could do at home. I did worry that I wasn’t giving him my full attention, but he had a great time, and Paul gave him a ride in his car.

“Stephen left him a parking ticket on his car window for bad parking, and said the penalty was a ride in his car. Paul came to look for him and paid the penalty! It was such a nice thing to do.”

The 39-year-old, whose mantra is “trust the universe”, confessed she was disappointed by her shock departure in the semi-final, having just won star baker for two consecutive weeks.

“It should have been my finest hour on patisserie week as that is my forte, but it was not to be. It was heart-breaking to leave at the semi final.”  

Hermine, who has now returned to her job as an accountant, said: “Prue is such a lovely person, and my son Stephen walked her two dogs – he loves dogs so that was an extra treat for him. Prue left him a lovely thank you note when we left the tent.”

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But she said her time on the show was filled with joy.

“I got a handshake from Paul and also Noel – I was so chuffed to get one from each of them. And when Matt called Prue’s appreciation of my bake a Pruegasm, what more could I ask for? 

“GBBO has probably changed my life more than I think it has. I am yet to find out how. It has surely changed my life in ways that I am yet to appreciate.”

Hermine said that her father was firmly in mind as she took part in the competition. “I felt that my late dad was looking over me and I really felt that he was also looking after me, and helped me get to the semi-final. I wanted to do this in memory of him, and I think he would have been proud of me.”

She does not yet know what will be next for her. 

“I bake from the heart. The sky is the limit and the possibilities are endless. I believe there are infinite possibilities for us if we are open to receiving. So, anything could be next for me who knows, let’s wait and see.” 

  • Next week on the Channel 4 series Peter Sawkins, Dave Friday and Laura Adlington will battle it out in the tent to see who will be this year’s winner.