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The winner bakes it all

The winner bakes it all

Whisks at the ready! The Great Celebrity Bake Off For Stand Up To Cancer is back on Channel 4

By Charlotte Briggs, Staff Writer + Rebecca Tanqueray, Feature Writer

What could be better than The Great British Bake Off, we hear you cry? How about a celebrity culinary caper that’s packed with plenty of baking blunders?


That’s right. A fresh batch of famous faces are heading into telly’s most famous tent for a five-part bakeathon as The Great Celebrity Bake Off For Stand Up To Cancer returns from Sunday 17 March at 7.40pm on Channel 4 HD (CH 104).


And while it may be an agonising watch for the patisserie purists amongst you, remember, this star-studded spin-off has always been more about the LOLs than the loaves. And it’s all for a very good cause.


The format works best when the contestants take the nation’s favourite baking show with a giant pinch of salt (though hopefully not shoving it in their Eccles cakes, like The Saturdays’ Rochelle Humes did in 2014). And we’re looking forward to lots of in-tent hilarity. Who can forget Alan Carr’s snappable sponge, Alex Horne’s “onion goggles” or Harry Hills’ 3D beach fantasy biscuit scheme? 


But it’s James Acaster who still holds the prize for the series’ most memorable moment with his much-memed flapjack intro: “Started making it. Had a breakdown. Bon appétit.”


This time, hosts Alison Hammond and Noel Fielding will be welcoming 20 new famous faces to the tent, including actor Danny Dyer, comedian Fern Brady and Strictly Come Dancing legend Oti Mabuse. Each week they’ll all be taking on a Signature, Technical and Showstopper challenge to impress long-time judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith and snag the Star Baker apron. 


Meet the celebs below and place your bets on who will be rise to the top, who will inherit the “worst ever bake” crown from comedian Lucy Beaumont, and who – if anyone – will be rewarded with a precious Hollywood handshake…

Week 1: Jodie Whittaker, Paloma Faith, Munya Chawawa and Spencer Matthews

Jodie Whittaker

Occupation: Actor

Where you might have seen them: Starring as the first-ever female Doctor in Doctor Who and in other British dramas Broadchurch and Time.

Find them online: @jodie.whittakeruk


Who: Paloma Faith

Occupation: Singer

Where you might have seen them: Topping the charts and as a judge on The Voice UK.

Find them online: @palomafaith


Who: Munya Chawawa

Occupation: Comedian

Where you might have seen them: Going viral with his sketches or appearing on Taskmaster, Have I Got News For You and Would I Lie To You?

Find them online: @munyachawawa


Who: Spencer Matthews

Occupation: TV personality and entrepreneur  

Where you might have seen them: In 10 series of Made In Chelsea, winning The Jump in 2017 and in his own documentary Finding Michael

Find them online: @spencermatthews


Our prediction: Matthews has some high-profile cooking credentials already, having reached the Celebrity MasterChef UK final in 2018. But Chawawa could be a choux-in (sorry) if he channels the culinary chops of Nigella Lawson from his parody skits!


Week 2: Danny Dyer, Rhod Gilbert, Yinka Bokinni and Leigh Francis

Who: Danny Dyer

Occupation: Actor

Where you might have seen them: Playing EastEnders’ hard man Mick Carter or hosting The Wall and celeb reality series Scared Of The Dark.

Find them online: @officialdannydyer


Who: Rhod Gilbert

Occupation: Comedian

Where you might have seen them: On a sold-out stand-up tour or presenting his Comedy Central show Rhod Gilbert’s Growing Pains – as well as A Pain In The Neck For Stand Up To Cancer, in which he detailed his own cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Find them online: @rhodgilbert


Who: Yinka Bokinni

Occupation: Presenter/film-maker

Where you might have seen them: Presenting shows across Capital Xtra and BBC Radio 1 or co-hosting both Naked Education and this year’s BRIT Awards red carpet, as well as ITV1’s Oscars coverage.

Find them online: @yinkabokinni


Who: Leigh Francis

Occupation: Presenter/actor/comedian

Where you might have seen them: Starring in his creation Bo’ Selecta! or presenting Celebrity Juice as his alter ego Keith Lemon for more than a decade.

Find them online: @leighfrancis


Our prediction: We think Bokinni is b-ready to shine in the Bake Off tent, having rubbed shoulders with former Star Baker James Buckley and the “Breadfather” himself Paul Hollywood on The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice last year.  


Week 3: David O’Doherty, Oti Mabuse, Gabby Logan and Suzi Ruffell

Who: David O’Doherty

Occupation: Comedian/author

Where you might have seen them: As a regular panellist on QI, Would I Lie to You? and David Mitchell's Radio 4 series The Unbelievable Truth

Find them online: @phlaimeaux


Who: Oti Mabuse

Occupation: Dancer turned talent judge

Where you might have seen them: Her seven-year stint as a pro on Strictly Come Dancing (winning twice) or more recently, judging Dancing On Ice

Find them online: @otimabuse


Who: Gabby Logan

Occupation: Sports presenter

Where you might have seen them: Covering sporting events for the BBC across the world including the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the 2022 Commonwealth Games. 

Find them online: @gabbylogan


Who: Suzi Ruffell

Occupation: Comedian

Where you might have seen them: Co-hosting the podcast Like Minded Friends with Tom Allen or appearing on 8 Out Of 10 Cats, Mock The Week and The Last Leg.

Find them online: @suziruffellcomedy


Our prediction: It’s a tough call. While Mabuse regularly cooked up a storm on Oti Mabuse’s Breakfast Show, Ruffell can stand the heat in the kitchen after successfully dealing with demanding diners on Flex Kitchen. The proof will be in the pudding.


Week 4: Dermot O’Leary, Greg James, Fern Brady and Mel B

Who: Dermot O’Leary

Occupation: Presenter

Where you might have seen them: Hosting This Morning every Friday with Bake Off presenter Alison Hammond as well as a 10-year gig on The X Factor

Find them online: @dermotoleary


Who: Greg James

Occupation: Broadcaster

Where you might have seen them: Hosting reality show Rise & Fall, as well as The Radio 1 Breakfast Show and BBC cricket podcast Tailenders.

Find them online: @greg_james


Who: Fern Brady

Occupation: Comedian

Where you might have seen them: Co-presenting travelogue series British As Folk and appearances on Taskmaster, 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Seann Walsh’s Late Night Comedy Spectacular. This year she’s been winning awards for her memoir Strong Female Character

Find them online: @fernfrombathgate


Who: Mel B, aka Scary Spice

Occupation: Singer and talent show judge

Where you might have seen them: As one-fifth of megastar pop group the Spice Girls and recent stints on The Masked Singer UK and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.

Find them online: @officialmelb


Our prediction: Brady’s proven that she’s not afraid to combine unusual flavours in her foodie podcast What A Combo! But Mel B’s “Spice Girls Soup” has had the seal of approval from both her former bandmates and self-taught chef Big Zuu. 


Week 5: The Reverend Richard Coles, Sara Cox, Joe Locke and Adam Hills

Who: The Reverend Richard Coles

Occupation: Broadcaster/author

Where you might have seen them: As half of 80s pop duo The Communards. More recently he’s penned best-selling crime series The Canon Clement Mysteries and co-presented BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live.

Find them online: @rkrcoles


Who: Sara Cox

Occupation: Broadcaster

Where you might have seen them: Presenting Between The Covers and Radio 2’s Drivetime Show. Former presenting gigs include The Radio 1 Breakfast Show, The Great Pottery Throw Down and The Big Breakfast

Find them online: @djsaracox


Who: Joe Locke

Occupation: Actor

Where you might have seen them: Playing lead Charlie Spring in Netflix’s Heartstopper

Find them online: @joelocke03


Who: Adam Hills

Occupation: Comedian/presenter

Where you might have seen them: Hosting the award-winning late-night talk show The Last Leg

Find them online: @adamhillscomedy


Our prediction: Locke is no stranger to a stand-mix after a Teen Vogue clip of him baking with Heartstopper co-star Kit Connor went viral. But Hills never backs down from a culinary challenge, cooking dishes his daughter invents – including pizza dumplings! 


When is The Great Celebrity Bake Off For Stand Up To Cancer on TV?

You can catch the first episode from 7.40pm on Sunday 17 March on Channel 4 HD (CH 104). The remaining four episodes will air every Sunday thereafter and will also be available to watch in Apps > Channel 4.


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