Stand Up to Cancer with Celebrity Bake Off

Tuesday: The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up to Cancer; (Channel 4, 9pm)
Prue, Matt and Paul with Daisy Ridley, Rob Beckett, Alexandra Burke and Tom AllenPrue, Matt and Paul with Daisy Ridley, Rob Beckett, Alexandra Burke and Tom Allen
Prue, Matt and Paul with Daisy Ridley, Rob Beckett, Alexandra Burke and Tom Allen

If anyone doubted that The Great British Bake Off still held a special place in viewers’ hearts, the most recent series should have proved them wrong.

Not only did the 2020 run provide a welcome bit of normality – and all-round niceness – in an otherwise stressful year, it also gave us one of the most memorable challenges in Bake Off history, namely the week one task to create a cake bust of a famous person.

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Although it was probably for the best if the likes of Lupita Nyong’o and Blink 182’s Tom DeLonge, who were unconvincingly rendered in sponge, didn’t watch that episode too closely, it seems plenty of other stars liked what they saw as the line up for this year’s The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up to Cancer is particularly impressive.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll see Hollywood star James McAvoy double Olympic Champion Kelly Holmes, comedians John Bishop, Katherine Ryan and David Baddiel, Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall, internet celebrity KSI, TV presenter and Paralympian Ade Adepitan, author and broadcaster Philippa Perry, DJ Nick Grimshaw, TV personality Anneka Rice, actor Reece Shearsmith, musician Dizzee Rascal, The Voice’s Anne-Marie and former Girl Aloud Nadine Coyle all have a go at showing off their baking prowess.

It seems they were raring to get started. McAvoy took to Instagram to say: “So excited to be part of Bake Off for Stand Up to Cancer. I’ve been a fan for years and watched most seasons so it’s an honour to be baking for such a great cause.”

Anne-Marie also shared her excitement via social media – and asked her followers not to pay too much attention to the fact that in her photo she is sporting a blue plaster along with a Bake Off apron.

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The first batch though are Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley, comedian Rob Beckett and singer Alexandra Burke, as well as someone many viewers will be expecting big things from – comedian Tom Allen.

He’s very much part of the Bake Off family – he co-presents Bake Off: The Professionals, is a regular on An Extra Slice and even co-hosted the recent Christmas Special. Now we’ll be finding out just how much of that baking knowledge Tom has actually absorbed. (Just in case anyone is wondering if this is a fix, it should be pointed out that previous host Sandi Toksvig once stood in as replacement for contestant Big Narstie, who had to drop out midway through filming due to a health scare.)

One famous face who is conspicuous by their absence this time around is Noel Fielding, who was on paternity leave. So, Matt Lucas is flying solo as the host, although judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith are also on hand.

They set the celebrities three challenges – millionaire shortbread in the Signature and a fruity tart in the Technical, before they create their pet hates in cake form in an ambitious Showstopper.

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And as it’s all for Celebrity Stand Up to Cancer, there will also be reminders of why this is such an important cause.

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