A baker from West Molesey impressed Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood so much in the first week of the competition that she earned a famous handshake.

Sophie Faldo, 33, is one of twelve bakers to enter the tent in this year's Great British Bake Off.

Sophie, a former officer with the British Army, impressed judges with her champagne cake and earned herself the ultimate compliment from 'old blue eyes' Paul Hollywood for her signature round fruity cake.

She also impressed the judges her showstopping chocolate Champagne cake, which despite having 'dry' sponge, looked exactly like a bottle of bubbly and ice.

The chatty baker would not be in the tent if it wasn't for her boyfriend, David.

Sophie said: “He actually put the initial application in,

"I had been looking at going on a course for a while at a patisserie college as it’s something I love doing but I couldn’t really afford it. I saw they were accepting applications and before I knew it, David had started applying.

“But never in a million years did I think I would get on! I just thought ‘let’s chuck it in and see what happens’. And now here I am talking about being one of the 12 bakers taking part in this year’s Bake Off."

A self-taught baker, Sophie says she vowed from the start to put everything into the experience.

Paul was the judge she wanted to impress most. “My heart was racing when they came up to look at my cake,” she says. “Paul was the judge I wanted to impress most because he had been there from the start. When you are standing there, the enormity of it all really does hit you.”

Great British Bake Off will continue next Tuesday at 8pm on Channel Four - and it is biscuit week.