meet janusz, the brighton-based contestant on the new season of the great british bake off

Rolling pins and whisks at the ready, it’s time for the new season of the Great British Bake Off! There are 12 fresh faces ready to do baking battle in season 13, including one contestant from our fair city –meet Janusz Domagala.

So who is Janusz? When he’s not baking on TV, the 34-year-old is a personal assistant to a head teacher in a school, and originally hails from Poland. He moved to the UK 10 years ago and lives with his boyfriend, Simon, and their sausage dog, Nigel. Apart from baking, his passions include internet culture, watching drag (he even bought his boyfriend a statue of Ru Paul) and collecting movie props.

He was inspired to bake by his mother who always baked on a Saturday and Janusz continued this tradition when he moved away to go to university. He describes his baking style as “cartoon-like, colourful and camp” and he loves working Polish ingredients into British staples. His favourite flavours are ginger and chocolate. We can’t wait to see what he creates!

Janusz’ gets in to his experience of the GBBO in our Q&A below, where he also reveals a childhood fear and his favourite biscuit!

Did you ever dream you would actually get into the Bake Off tent, and what was your reaction when you got the call confirming your place?
Being on GBBO was something I never thought I would be able to achieve. It was my third attempt and it was actually my boyfriend that applied for me each year without me knowing! The audition process was SO much fun and each year, I became more and more determined to prove to myself that I could do it. When I got the call to confirm my place this year I was convinced I was being pranked! It was the biggest moment of my life so far and I was SO proud of myself… but then the reality of what was coming sunk in and I put myself to work!

janusz gbbo

Over the years, who or what has helped your baking improve?
My boyfriend Simon has been my biggest supporter. He’s pushed me to do things I doubted I could do and had trust in me throughout the whole process.

You’re given the prize of going up in a hot air balloon with a previous baker, who would you choose and why?
I would choose Laura Adlington! I love what she achieved in the tent and continues to do as a baker and a human. She seems like somebody that lights up any room and I feel like we are part of the same soul, and not just because she’s such a messy baker!

What’s the one kitchen utensil that you can’t really be without?
I would sacrifice my partner, friends and family before I let anything happen to my stand mixer!

What special memories do you have of the very first week of filming?
The best memory I have of week one was initially walking into the tent. It was when it hit me that I really was going to be a part of GBBO 2022. They warned us that every year one person cries when walking into the tent. I joked with the group about placing bets on who it would be, I just never expected it to be ME!


If you had to make a cake of yourself in your proudest moment – what would that moment be and why, and what kind of cake would it be?
I would make a cake depicting 1/05/22. It was the day I left for GBBO and also the day we (well, my partner) moved us in to our first property we’ve bought together. That was two things ticked off my bucket list in one day! It would taste like success.

What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses as a baker?
I think my biggest strength is flavours… I think I am quite an intuitive baker and I like deviating from recipes and seeing how far I can take things. My weakness is time management, as I am SO easily distracted!

If you had plenty of time at home, what’s the craziest kind of Showstopper you can think of to make?
The craziest showstopper I can think of to create at home would be an edible 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle inspired by a childhood fear. Mine would be getting in my parents’ elevator in Poland, which doesn’t have a door…

Yikes! On to happier things, is there any kind of cake or biscuit that you really don’t like and what is your all-time favourite?
My favourite biscuit is a Gingernut! I love to eat and bake them and have perfected my own recipe which is a favourite amongst my Polish and UK families. That makes them extra special. After twenty-five minutes of thought, I honestly don’t think there is a cake or biscuit in the world I don’t enjoy!

Best of luck, Janusz!

Season 13 of The Great British Bake Off is back on Tuesday, 13th September at 8pm on Channel 4.