THE line-up for the new series of The Great British Bake Off has been revealed ­— with a Bolton accountant among the 12 amateur bakers taking part in this year’s show.

Self-taught baker Makbul Patel, 51, initially began cooking at home as a way of supporting his mother. The accountant, who lives in Sharples, is a beekeeper in his spare time and produces his own honey, which he uses in his bakes.

“I have been baking for quite a while now and my daughter is a real inspiration,” said Makbul, who is known as ‘Mak’ to his friends.

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“She is the one who encouraged me to apply for the show so I put my application in last year and before I knew it I was having a screen test and taking part in a kitchen challenge in London.”

Mak honed his early skills through watching TV shows, reading books and drawing inspiration from famous chefs ­— and has a particular interest in growing his own ingredients.

“I try to eat as healthily as possible,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, I like a burger as much as the next person, but I think there is a good argument for being organic, connecting yourself to the Earth and being as self-sufficient as possible.”

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This year, under exceptional circumstances, the 12 new bakers entered a bubble for seven weeks to make the competition happen.

“We were vigorously checked for covid-19 beforehand and once we were in the bubble no one could leave or enter,” said Mak. “It was all under strict control but to be part of the programme has been a sensational experience.”

Noel Fielding and new host Matt Lucas kick off the series with cake week and Mak had particular praise for the Little Britain star.

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“Matt was amazing,” he said. “He was in his element and was a big support for me. The presenters really do help you in ways you can’t imagine and they really get you out of a hole when you’re down.”

The father of three, who works for housing service Bolton at Home, is well aware his life might be about to change.

He added: “It has been non-stop since Channel 4 made the announcement. And I hate seeing myself on screen — it’s so embarrassing!"

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But it is something the Bolton baker may have to get used to.

See how Mak does on The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4 at 8pm next Tuesday, September 22.