The 25th Baking Industry Awards was held this Wednesday (12 September) at the Park Lane Hilton in London, with special guest Jason Donovan taking to the stage to entertain the crowds.

The event attracted hundreds of bakers from up and down the country to celebrate the best of the industry. This year’s BIAs was opened with speeches from Martyn Leek and Sonia Young, editor and publisher of British Baker.

Special guest and singing sensation Jason Donovan, known for his role in Australian soap opera Neighbours, as well as appearing on Strictly Come Dancing and I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here, entertained the crowds with his bakery-related rendition of Too Many Broken Hearts In The World. He also presented the awards to finalists and winners on stage during the evening.

Taking the top accolade of Baker of the Year, which was sponsored by Vandemoortele, Robert Burns of Burns the Bread in Glastonbury, told British Baker: "I think the judges appreciated how much passion I have for the business as well as the people that work for me."

Two employees from Harrogate-based bakery business Bettys took home two awards on the night. This included Justin Clapham, who was crowned with The Rising Star Award, sponsored by Whitworth Bros, and Gemma Pickup, who was presented with the Confectioner of the Year Award, sponsored by Dawn Foods.

Talking about the two award wins, Clapham said: "It’s absolutely amazing. I didn’t expect to win and netiher did Gemma and we’ve both won. It shows what skills we have learnt at Betty’s and it shows how passionate we are about what we do."

Music: For Tomorrow by Emerald Park (Creative Commons licence)

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