A council manager turned brilliant baker’s dream of winning a national cooking show has scone to pieces after he was voted out.
But Howard Middleton has been besieged with support and requests to make wedding cakes since he got down to the final few contestants in hit programme The Great British Bake Off .
Viewers saw the Sheffield 52-year-old leave on Tuesday night on sweet dough week, where his unusual date and hemp Yorkshire loaf, ‘bland’ peach-shaped buns and Schnecken sweet buns failed to tickle the tastebuds of judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.
Howard, who lives in the city centre, said: “I was so pleased to get through to that stage and by that point I was pretty exhausted because it is tiring having a full time job, getting in all the practice and baking at weekends.
“It was quite an arduous process but also incredible fun.”
Howard was sworn to secrecy about the result of the show, which was filmed in April and May, and how far he had got in the process.
He added: “It has been hard to keep it all a secret.
“But at the same time you don’t want to spoil it.
“I have had so much support, obviously from people at work, friends and family.
“Also people have been stopping me in the street - even today they were saying ‘I feel so sorry for you’ and ‘bad luck’.
“It has been fantastic.
“I think now there are six people left on the show who are all fantastic - any of them could win and they all deserve it.”
Howard’s brush with fame saw him make a guest appearance at the launch of Sheffield Food Festival last week.
And he may taste other culinary exploits in the future.
“I’m keeping my options open”, he said.
“But it has been a fantastic experience and you don’t want it to just completely end there.
“I’m getting stuff coming through where people are wanting me to do wedding cakes and things.”