A YOUNG baker has impressed the nation after his gingerbread creation of York Minster won a Channel 4 programme.

Stephen Harrison of York appeared on 'Kirstie's Handmade Christmas' last week, where he went up against three fierce rivals to create a gingerbread house in six hours.

The 26-year-old, who owns The Free From Baker based in the city, said it took him "several evenings" to come up with a flawless design ahead of the show.

He said: "I tried it three times – the first one, the roof didn't work at all so I had to go back to the drawing board."

Mr Harrison, who was diagnosed coeliac when he was seven-years-old and decided to open his own 'Free From' bakery, was contacted by the programme's production team in October.

He said: "The production team contacted me through my Instagram after seeing my pictures and creations.

"They asked me if I wanted to apply – it happened so quickly, three weeks later I was filming the show."

The finished gingerbread York Minster, which was built on the show, measures 80cm in length and 36cm in height and features stain glass windows made from around 80 hard-boiled sweets.

Mr Harrison said he had to keep his appearance on the programme quiet, and the fact he had won an episode a total secret.

He said: "It's been amazing, everybody has been blown away by it –I had to keep it all a secret.

"No-one knew I had won, Monday night was absolutely mad – my phone wouldn't stop going."

Last year, Mr Harrison appeared on The Great British Bake Off - Extra Slice, where he created a gluten-free Danish Kransekake, and a gluten-free ten-ring ground almond based biscuit tower.