And finally… Federation of Master Builders jumps to defence of Great British Bake Off finalist

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has leapt to the defence of The Great British Bake Off contestant Richard Burr after rumours were circulated that he is not a real builder.

Earlier this week, the Daily Mail described Burr’s job as closer to that of “an investment banker than a jobbing brickie” but the FMB defended his construction credentials.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said rumours that Richard Burr is not a real builder are sadly mistaken because he is in fact a master builder.

He said: “The FMB is extremely proud that our member Richard Burr is challenging stereotypes about builders. Today’s modern builders are often multi-talented as demonstrated by Richard’s brilliant performance on TGBBO.

“Unfortunately many people have a negative impression of what constitutes a builder. The reality is that many builders are highly qualified, hail from a variety of backgrounds, and carry out a range of complex and difficult projects. We need to rethink the stereotypical image of ‘mud and boots’ in the building industry and think instead of building professionals such as Richard Burr.”

Berry added: “The building industry offers young people a diverse and rewarding career and it’s time old fashioned negative attitudes are changed to reflect the thousands of building professionals who work in the building industry.”

Burr, 38, who holds a first-class degree in biodiversity and conservation from London’s Birkbeck College, is the fourth generation to work in the family building business. His wife, Sarah, also spoke out against the accusations that he never got his hands dirty, saying that Burr had rebuilt their formerly-derelict family home in Mill Hill himself.

He has been heralded as the favourite to win the baking competition not least because he has been named star baker a record five times, particularly impressing Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood in doughnut week with his rhubarb and custard zeppole.

However, whether he will abandon the family construction firm to follow in the footsteps of former Bake Off finalists, such as last year’s runner-up, Ruby Tandoh, to pursue a new career in baking, still remains to be seen.

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