Great British Bake Off: First deaf contestant is Tasha Stones from Bristol

A woman from Bristol has been named as The Great British Bake Off's first deaf contestant.

Participation officer Tasha Stones, 27, will be one of 12 people competing on the Channel 4 show when it returns in September.

She will be accompanied by a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.

Ms Stones said: "I couldn't have done it without him and without the dedication from the show ensuring I had the same access as the other bakers."

"Seeing him up at the front and feeling fully part of the show was a really special moment," she added.

Ms Stones said she left her "application until the last minute" because she was "so nervous about submitting it".

She and her interpreter both cried when they found out they were going to be on the series, she said.

"We were a mess. I didn't say anything that made sense because I was so unprepared to be told that, I never thought that it would be me going to the tent," Ms Stones said.

Chief executive of the National Deaf Children's Society, Susan Daniels, said it was "vitally important that deaf children and young people see positive deaf role models on TV and in the media".

Ms Daniels added: "It's great to see the Great British Bake Off include a deaf contestant for the first time. We're confident that they'll rise to the challenge."

The show, which will be presented by Noel Fielding and Alison Hammond, will have 12 contestants.

When asked which previous Bake Off contestants had inspired her, Ms Stones said: "It's so hard to pick particular bakers, but I'll give a special mention to fellow Bristolians Briony and Giuseppe of course."

The Great British Bake Off returns on 26 September at 20:00 BST on Channel 4.

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