EMOTIONAL TIES: Kim-Joy on being charmed, battle stains and bonding over board games

The Great British Bake Off finalist and mental health specialist Kim-Joy on being charmed, battle stains and bonding over board games. 

Kim-Joy
Claire Wood
Claire Wood

My partner Nabil and I bonded over a shared love of board games – he owns a chain of shops that sells them. We’ve been together for four years and were friends before that. We used to play the board game Splendor a lot – we would get very competitive.

Claire Wood

Getting to the Bake Off final was such a relief. I didn’t want to let the judges down and make something not up to my normal standard, but I didn’t allow myself to get too nervous. I haven’t washed my apron since – I want to keep those battle stains as memories.

Claire Wood

I’ve been into PlayStation since I was a child – the fighting games Tekken and Guilty Gear are my favourite. People probably wouldn’t expect that from me, because I’m calm, but this is my outlet. After I finished filming Bake Off, I played it a lot to unwind.

Claire Wood

After the final was aired, I was presented with this cake on the spin-off show An Extra Slice. It has a fondant model of me, with little animals, bunting and a replica of the bench we worked at. I’m not planning to eat it.

Claire Wood

A fan made these tiny wooden Russian dolls after watching me on Bake Off. The one with my face painted on it is wearing a top I wore on the show and is holding one of my bakes. I keep them on my mantelpiece.

Claire Wood

Nabil bought this Pandora charm bracelet for me in Disneyland in California. He’s added charms to it over time, for anniversaries, birthdays and to mark holidays we’ve been on together; there’s one from Chinatown in San Francisco and one from Japan.

Claire Wood

My Nokia 3310 is a keepsake of what life used to be like – you’d just push buttons and there was no internet. Now we are all always connected, which isn’t natural and is part of why young people have so many mental health issues.

Claire Wood

Here I am with my brothers Kenneth and Kevan playing with a miniature cooker on the floor. My mum Jean [right] and her two sisters are in the other photo. I love how stylish she looks. I think my style has become quite similar to hers – we both love high-waisted skirts and lots of colour.

Interview by Charlotte Pearson-Methven

To see more of Kim-Joy’s bakes and creations, follow her on Instagram and Twitter.