With an army of over 15m devotees, The Great British Bake Off has become a fortress of British entertainment. Wednesday evening 8pm – my wife would set her timer and, like clockwork, settle down to watch the success-hungry contestants bake, whisk and mix their way towards success.

Even Sophie got in on the act, as this post proves.

Admittedly I’m a bit late with this.

The Bake Off finished two weeks ago and my attempt to be topical has been somewhat delayed by the arrival of a baby – see recent posts.

However, our little girl’s baking passions have been inflamed and I ought to pay tribute to those behind it.

Already a veteran of such experiences as Baking (with a toddler!), Sophie has proved her worth in the kitchen a number of times.

She enjoys watching Bake Off with my wife – I say enjoys. Mainly, she points things out and goes “What’s that?” “Why are they doing that?” “What’s that lady doing?” – and gets involved whenever my wife is doing any baking in the kitchen.

To encourage the two of them I bought a copy of the latest Bake Off book. It’s partly self-interest to be honest. I mean if they get really good and like it, I’m set up with tasty treats for life. Sure, they’re a bit away from producing a gingerbread pub or a picnic fit for royalty but I know they’ll get there!

When I found out the Bake Off finalists, Candice, Andrew and Jane were coming to our local Waterstones, I couldn’t resist getting us involved.

So, off we went. Me, my overdue pregnant wife and our two and a half year old, heading into a scorching Waterstones store to queue and meet the finalists.

Sophie soon got bored. My wife got fed up of standing but made friends with people in the queue so was fine. Sophie and I floated round the store, devouring the toddler book section. We found everything from Frozen to Topsy and Tim and she had an amazing time.

I even got to eavesdrop on the ridiculous excitement espoused by the three girls at the front of the queue – “I’ve been up since 2am waiting for this” the main gist of the conversation!

An hour and a quarter later, the winning trio emerged from the doors and Sophie watched on fascinated. It took another half hour for my wife to reach the front of the queue so we joined her and went to meet them.

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It was lovely actually. Sophie wasn’t too terrified of meeting her baking heroes and they were really excited for us about the impending baby. They must spend so much time smiling and signing their names but they were really warm and happy which was lovely. All the while, helpful staff members snapped us chatting and posing with them.

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Naturally, Candice even stamped her famous lipstick on the book for us.

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 And then that was it. Like a whirlwind, we had met them and were off again, back towards the car. Sophie had met the bakers she’d been watching each week and we had a taste for encountering celebrities.

Who shall we meet next? Maybe Mr Cadbury might be a good idea…