Rising to the occasion: Old Elizabethan’s Great British Bake Off success

Past and present pupils alike are tuning in eagerly to the BBC’s The Great British Bake Off to find out if Old Elizabethan Richard Burr can continue his successful run in the show.

In last week’s quarter-final, Richard (OE 1987-1994) was named ‘star baker’ for the fourth time – a feat never before achieved in the history of the show, according to co-presenter Mel Giedroyc.

He has already progressed through eight rounds of the fifth series of the prime-time cooking programme and seen eight of the original 12 contestants eliminated.

Now he will be hoping for further success in the semi-final on Wednesday 1st October. He must demonstrate his skills in patisserie – the theme for the semi-final – and, if he reaches the final on 8th October, in tackling a demanding trio of specialised baking challenges.

Richard went to St Paul’s C of E Primary School in Mill Hill before coming to QE during the headmastership of Eamonn Harris.

""He enjoyed baking with his mother as a small child and then as a teenager had a Saturday job washing up in a local bakery as a teenager, which further fired his enthusiasm for baking.

A family man, Richard is the fourth generation to work in his family’s building business. 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 fisher, 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.

In 2012, Richard gained a first class degree from Birkbeck College, London: a BSc in Biodiversity and Conservation. He achieved this part time, whilst at the same time manning the family building firm and perfecting his baking skills.