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Great British Bake Off welcomes first deaf baker

Tasha

The Great British Bake Off will welcome a deaf baker when the show returns to our screens next week.

Tasha will be the first contestant baking with hearing loss under the infamous tent when she competes for Star Baker and that priceless handshake from Paul Hollywood.

Growing up she baked cakes for her friends before taking up baking as a hobby in-between holding down a participation officer duty.

All the judges learnt sign language ahead of the recording so they could communicate with the 27-year-old from Bristol.

Speaking to Radio Times Magazine judge Prue Leith explained how herself and Hollywood were taught British Sign Language.

"She had a signer, so we all learnt a bit of sign language," Leith told the publication. "Paul was terrific and he learnt a lot. I just about managed to learn how to say 'good luck' and 'well done'."

Tasha had to take some convincing before signing up to the show, if it hadn’t been for her boss she would never have applied.

"My manager urged me to apply and was the one who basically made sure I got the application in (by badgering me on WhatsApp after every application advert at the end of the season 13 episodes)!,” Tasha said.

"When I had the Zoom call to tell me I was one of the 12, I cried! Daryl (my BSL interpreter) also cried! We were a mess."

She continued: "I didn't say anything that made sense because I was so unprepared to be told that - I never thought that it would be me going to the tent!

"I also went on holiday with seven friends the day after finding out and could only tell one of them, so I was absolutely bursting with the secret all week!"

Tasha recalls when presenter Noel Fielding introduced fellow Alison Hammond and Tasha to BSL interpreter, Daryl.

She said: "Seeing Daryl up at the front and feeling fully part of the show was a really special moment. I couldn't have done it without him and without the dedication from the show ensuring I had the same access as the other bakers.”

[ The Great British Bake Off returns to Channel 4, Tuesday 26th September at 8pm ]

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