Great British Bake Off: meet the finalists

Series five of the Great British Bake Off is approaching its climax and the excitement is heating up to an all-time high. The nation's favourite baking programme has been a bigger hit than ever, pulling in more than 10 million viewers.

Two months of proving, kneading, folding and piping have seen 2,400 eggs broken, as well as using 600 piping bags, 200 rolls of kitchen paper towel, 24 types of flour and 19 types of sugar, as the contestants have given their all in creating the perfect showstopper.

Nancy Birtwhistle

Twelve Bake Off hopefuls have been whittled down to three, and now HELLO! Online takes a look at the trio that have made it all the way to the final.

The only lady left in the running is Nancy Birtwhistle. The retired GP practice manager and grandmother of eight from Lincolnshire was the first to be crowned star baker of the series for her Jaffa orange cakes.

The 60-year-old had another highlight in Biscuit Week when she created an enchanting Hansel and Gretel magic forest, although Paul Hollywood once branded her use of a microwave "dangerous".

Richard Burr

North London builder Richard Burr, meanwhile, has delighted viewers with his heart-shaped rhubarb and custard doughnuts, Swedish tea ring and Eclair Stair — tiers of multi-coloured, cream-filled delights laid out on pine steps.

The cheerful 38-year-old, who made his and his wife's wedding cake in the shape of the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars, applied for the show on New Year’s Day and won star baker a record five times in nine weeks.

Luis Troyano

Luis Troyano is the final contestant to battle it out for the GBBO crown on Wednesday night.

The 42-year-old has wowed celebrity judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood with his extravagant bakes and precise designs drawn from his day job as a graphic designer running a marketing agency.

He particularly impressed the judges in Bread week, when his bakes earned a handshake from Paul, were described as "pure alchemy" and earned him star baker.

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