Old Elizabethan is front-runner in The Great British Bake Off

Old Elizabethan Richard Burr is now widely being tipped as the favourite to win the BBC’s The Great British Bake Off after an impressive showing in the semi-final.

Richard (OE 1987-1994) was named ‘star baker’ for an unprecedented fifth time after impressing the judges with superb filo pastry and exemplary fondant fancies. This was all the more impressive since he admitted only ever using shop-bought filo pastry at home.

His performance in ‘Patisserie Week’ resulted in him progressing triumphantly through to the final on Wednesday 8th October. Only three of the original 12 contestants now remain. The final will require the three to tackle a demanding trio of specialised baking challenges.

Richard, 38, went to St Paul’s C of E Primary School in Mill Hill before coming to QE when Eamonn Harris was Headmaster.

""He traces his love of baking back to the time he spent baking with his mother as a small child. Then as a teenager he had a Saturday job washing up in a local bakery as a teenager, which further fired his enthusiasm.

Richard is the fourth generation to work in his family’s building business. Judge Paul Hollywood said his experience as a builder could be seen in his baking: “Whether Richard’s mixing up plaster, cement, dough or pastry, he knows about consistency. It’s like working a cement mixer. That’s why he does so well.”

Married to Sarah and with two daughters, he does most of the family cooking and enjoys baking with his wife. He especially enjoys bread and pastry-making, while making the girls’ birthday cakes are highlights of the family’s year.

Richard has long been a keen fan of The Great British Bake Off. “We watch it every year and really enjoy it,” he told the BBC. “After last year I had quite a few friends and family say ‘you should go on Bake Off’, so I put my money where my mouth was and here I am.”

""A keen fisherman, diver and cyclist, he also grows his own vegetables and volunteers for the National Wildlife Trust. He is teaching his daughters eco-friendly ways to help animals by building homes for hedgehogs to hibernate in.

Richard told the School that he is quite proud of the first-class BSc degree in Biodiversity and Conversation that he gained in 2012 from Birkbeck College, London, studying part-time.