Sweet victory could await South Shields man as he makes it to semi-final of Chocolate Challenge with the Hairy Bikers

From customer service to concocting chocolate creations – Karl Denham is aiming to become top of the block.

Tuesday, 3rd March 2020, 11:45 am
Karl Denham with Hairy Biker Dave Myers during the filming of the show.

The 27-year-old has made it through to the semi-final of the Channel 5 show Chocolate Challenge with the Hairy Bikers, which will be screened at 11.05pm on Wednesday, March 4.

The programme-makers plan to show the finale of the series straight after that, with Karl sworn to secrecy about whether he is among the last three of the seven competitors to make it to the last hurdle.

The challenge’s presenters Dave Myers and Geordie Si King sees them joined by award-winning chocolatier Ruth Hinks, with the winner to help create a new flavour of Kit Kat.

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Karl, who is from Biddick Hall and went to St Wilfrid's RC College, started baking and making sweet treats around seven years ago.

He auditioned to join in the television challenge after he was sent a message through his Instagram account @karldenham from the show's team, which his mam Pauline, 56, dad John, 60, and nanna Mary, 83, giving him their backing through the process.

The senior host for LNER has already created a chocolate bar called Taste of the Toon, made with caramel and shortbread, decorated with an Angel of the North on its packaging to reflect his North East roots.

In the second task, he made chocolate bonbons which featured the flavours of tiramisu, inspired by his mum’s favourite dessert, which led to judges remarking they were good enough to make it into a box of chocolates.

Karl Denham's profile photo for the show - now he's through to the semi-final of the programme.

The third task was to use textures to make a jumbo chocolate bar, with his rosemary caramel and honeycomb treat, topped with white and dark chocolate, proving his biggest challenge yet.

It still won him a place in tomorrow’s show.

“It's been absolutely fantastic and the Hairy Bikers are the presenters but they’re also joined as a judge Ruth Hinks and then I saw the sculptures she had made for the world championship and the stuff she has made is stunning,” said Karl, who now lives in Newcastle.

“It’s been a fascinating experience.

The chocolate bar created by Karl Denham as part of the television show, with the packaging and name inspired by his home region.

“Ultimately, I would love one day to have my own shop where people can come in an have cake and a coffee.”

Judge Ruth Hinks and the Hairy Bikers, Si King and Dave Myers, discuss the work of the competitors in The Chocolate Challenge with the Hairy Bikers.
The jumbo chocolate bar filled with rosemary caramel and decorated with white and dark chocolate, made by Karl Denham during the challenges posed through the show.
One of Karl Denham's chocolate treats.
Karl Denham measures out ingredients during one of his challenges.
Karl Denham shares his creations through Instagram.