Giuseppe Dell’Anno: ‘I thought Bake Off was going to be a nightmare’

Thu, 25 Nov 2021 15:12:55 GMT 5

Giuseppe Dell’Anno: ‘I thought Bake Off was going to be a nightmare’

Bake Off’s first Italian winner thought he would hate being in the tent. Now that he’s won, he feels more confident than ever – though he still has no plans to give up his day job

It was a grand slam for Italy – winners of Eurovision and Euro 2020 – this week, as Giuseppe Dell’Anno triumphed in The Great British Bake Off. The 45-year-old engineer – with his precise, impeccable English; his Bristolian life; wife and three sons; and his unbelievably tidy workstation – never thought of himself as a showman. “Whenever I do a Myers-Briggs [personality] test,” he tells me the morning after the final airs, “I come out as a massive introvert. Nothing gives me more energy than locking myself in a room and working on my own. When I got into Bake Off, I thought: ‘This is going to be a nightmare.’”

But cameras, audiences and – most importantly – the judges loved him. Twice awarded star baker – once for some milk bread that looked like vegetables, again for a German cake that looked like an alien invasion on the brink of victory – to the uninitiated, his creations may have seemed as elaborate as those of any Bake Off winner. “But one of the comments that Paul often gave me,” he recalls, of those moments before a Hollywood Handshake, “was that my bakes were ‘rather simple but very effective’. That is the way I work. I would rather spend time doing something small, and doing it very well, than venture into something complicated.”

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