Fame isn't easy and it certainly can be unforgiving, especially when it isn't sought after. The Great British Bake Off is known for its uncanny ability to find the most delightful contestants who never fail to support each other when in need. It also has a rotation of amazing hosts, with Paul Hollywood being the only one there since its start. Unfortunately, at least one former tent dweller has had a somewhat traumatic reaction to her time on the show. What happened to Ruby Tandoh?
Who is Ruby Tandoh from 'The Great British Bake Off'?
Ruby was a finalist during the fourth season of The Great British Bake Off in 2013. While filming the show, she was a first-year student at University College London where she was studying art and history. In a 2016 interview with Suyin Haynes for gal-dem, Ruby said she had been bouncing around from hobby to hobby and that applying to Bake Off was "just another one of those whims." She was new to baking and thought, "What better way to learn than to throw myself into this massive competition?"
Ruby, a woman of color (her grandfather is from Ghana), has spoken about the ways in which the show has both helped and looked down on people of color. In an essay she wrote for Heated, Ruby wrote about what fellow Season 4 contestant Kimberley Wilson had to endure as she was "branded arrogant and unlikeable, a judgment which seemed to condense around little more than the fact of her Blackness."
Then there's Benjamina Ebuehi who reached the quarterfinals in 2016. When approached about writing a book while being told she could do the entire thing her way, Benjamina was skeptical. “I sent it to my agent like, ‘Are these guys legit?’” Ruby said, "Bake Off has become a strange vehicle for change: a cultural moment that, almost in spite of itself, metabolizes Black and brown talent into something bright and new."
What happened to Ruby Tandoh from 'The Great British Bake Off'?
While on the show, Ruby was a target of online abuse. Viewers accused her of having an affair with GBBO co-host Paul Hollywood. Two years after the show's end, Ruby came out as gay on Twitter via a now-deleted tweet that read, "me to my parents today. feeling lucky and joyful and f r e e. over and Out." She followed it up with, "p.s. for those who thought I fancied Paul Hollywood or that I’d ever bang him to get ahead – JOKE’S ON YOU, YOU MASSIVE S---TING MISOGYNISTS." Paul's response was fine.
While a guest on Elizabeth Day's podcast How to Fail, Ruby said about watching the show, "No, not at all. No, I can’t. I appreciate it as a show. I think the format is clearly compelling, but no." She went on to say that, “When I hear the little song, the little jingle at the start, I feel sick.” It's unfortunate but perfectly understandable that Ruby would not want anything to do with it.
What is Ruby Tandoh up to now?
Since the show finished, Ruby has been very busy. She has written four cookbooks: Crumb: The Baking Book (2014), Flavour: Eat What You Love (2016), Eat Up: Food, Appetite and Eating What You Want (2018), and Cook As You Are, which is set for release in October of 2021. Ruby also briefly became a columnist for The Guardian but quit in 2018 because she didn't appreciate the elitist nature of food culture. In 2018, she married her partner Leah Pritchard.