A serial reality TV cook is among the 10 contestants competing when The Great Kiwi Bake Off returns to TVNZ 1 next month.
Hamish Russell was on New Zealand's Hottest Home Baker a decade ago and, from that time in the kitchen, he went on to score a gig with comedian Chris Parker on the My Kitchen Rules reaction series.
Marketing manager Russell, 32, tells Spy he has wanted to compete in the TVNZ show in past seasons, but couldn't as he worked for TVNZ and was therefore ineligible.
"This was the first year I could enter, so I thought why not?" says Russell.
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"Hottest Home Baker was many moons ago when I was a very novice baker. The shows are very similar, including judge Dean Brettschneider. However, he didn't remember me."
In the third season of the show, Hayley Sproull and Madeleine Sami are back to host and alongside Brettschneider again is co-judge Sue Fleischl.
Russell downplays any edge his past experience gives him for the show.
"You could have made a recipe 100 times at home in your kitchen and have it turn out perfectly but then the one time you're cooking in front of cameras and competition, everything turns to (excuse the pun) custard. I had completely forgotten how stressful baking under studio lights and time limits can be," he says.
Russell tries his best to keep up with his very busy friend Chris Parker and is one of the biggest fans of his Instagram content. He says Parker is cementing himself as a Kiwi icon with his incredible run on Celebrity Treasure Island.
In fact, says Russell, if Parker had been competing with him on Bake Off, they would have ended up in a draw. "We'd start baking and very quickly veer off-task and would likely end up gas-bagging" he says.