Michael Chakraverty: who is the former Edinburgh Playhouse staff member on The Great British Bake Off 2019?
The Great British Bake Off 2019 is well underway and this year a former Edinburgh Playhouse staff member is one of the contestants.
Michael Chakraverty, 26, joined 12 other amateur bakers in the tent on 27 August for the new season of the show.
Although he was born in Newcastle, Michael considers himself Scottish having moved to Scone at the age of seven, before studying at Perth Academy.
His teachers from the school are supporting his efforts on The Great British Bake Off and head teacher John Lothian told The Courier: “Although Michael left Perth Academy some years ago, staff remember him fondly.
“He was Kenickie in the school’s production of Grease and also starred in the High School Musical and was a keen student of Modern Languages.
“The entire Perth Academy community will be watching with interest and backing Michael to do well.”
After high school, Michael went on to study English Literature at the University of Edinburgh from 2011 to 2015 and worked at Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre and the Lyceum Theatre while he was a student.
Former colleague Rebecca Shearer, who worked with Michael at Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre, told The Courier she felt his work ethic would help him do well on the show.
“He was my supervisor when I worked Front of House at the Edinburgh Playhouse,” she said.
“I liked him a lot – I thought he was really, really nice.
“I didn’t know he was a baker and sadly I never got to try any of his cakes as he never brought any in."
Michael is now a theatre manager at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon.
He’s always been a keen baker and learned to bake from his mother, who passed down old, hand-written recipes from her grandparents.
Inspired by the flavours of his Indian heritage, Michael has tried a number of different baking disciplines but his strength lies in cakes and pastry.
Each of the 13 bakers on the show will have to undergo a series of themed challenges each week, with just one being crowned the winner.
Already Dan from the show has been eliminated.
Each episode of GBBO allows bakers to show off their simple skills with a Signature Challenge.
Next, a Technical Challenge asks them to make a baked good chosen by the judges with only a vague recipe to go on.
The bakers are aiming to impress judges with the final Showstopper Challenge.
The first episode of Great British Bake Off 2019 aired on Tuesday 27 August and the bakers tackled a complex fruit cake, a retro Technical and a Showstopper that took them back to their childhoods. You can see the first episode on Channel 4 On Demand now.
The Great British Bake Off returns every Tuesday evening at 8pm on Channel 4.