CELEBRITY BAKE OFF: MEET THIS WEEK'S BAKERS

In this episode, four more celebrities battle it out for The Great Celebrity Bake Off for SU2C winner’s apron. Matt Lucas is joined by MC Dizzee Rascal, radio DJ Nick Grimshaw, psychiatrist and author Philippa Perry and comedian Reece Shearsmith.


In a bid to impress judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith the bakers are making vegetable slices for their signature challenge, attempting a right royal technical and, in the showstopper, baking a ‘Selfie’ of themselves at work made entirely from biscuit.



DIZZIE RASCAL

Can you bake?

I just learned that I’m not too bad at it! I’d never baked before.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

My weakness is that I’d never baked before! My strength is that I’m quite good at following instructions, and even if I get something wrong, I don’t panic. Whenever there’s little problems I’ll solve them.

Do you do any cooking?

Yeah, a little bit. I’ll season up some chicken or season up some meat, and that’s about it. I’m not a big cook or anything.

Was there anything you really didn’t want to be asked to make in this competition?

No, not really. I just come on here and get to it. You just have to read the instructions, pretty much. There was one thing I’d never heard of, and I didn’t have any reference what it was supposed to look like, or how long it had to go in the oven for. That was hard.

Why is SU2C important to you?

It’s just important in general, isn’t it? Cancer is one of those things that should have been eradicated by now. So, anything that helps the fight is good.


NICK GRIMSHAW

Can you bake?

I cannot. I’ve never, ever baked. I can make dinner – I cook. But I don’t bake anything. So, when I was asked to do this I was like “Oh, I’ll bake the week before.” And then I came to bake a few days before, and I realised I didn’t have scales, a whisk, a rolling pin, I didn’t have anything that you actually need for baking. So, I had to go out and get everything. And then I practiced twice in the week – I tried to make biscuits, and I made a cake, but I didn’t have a rolling pin, so I was using a bottle of wine as my rolling pin. So no, I don’t bake at all. It’s quite the baptism of fire to go from no baking to doing Bake Off.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

I don’t know if I have any strengths, I think it’s all weaknesses. I suppose I’m quite prepared to be experimental – I’m quite up for trying unusual bakes. And I’m quite happy to be generous with ingredients if I don’t think there’s enough in a recipe. So, I’m confident to experiment. I’d say my weakness is that I don’t concentrate – I get easily distracted talking to people.

Have you ever had any culinary disasters?

Yeah, all the time! When I was baking at home this week, practicing the biscuits, I put the biscuits in the oven, and I was holding on to the baking tray with a tea towel, and when I pulled the tea towel away, I also pulled all of the biscuit dough out of the oven, and basically flung it on to the floor. And the dogs were eating raw biscuit dough off the floor. It was a disaster.


Why is SU2C important to you?

Cancer is one of those things that affects everybody. Not only the people that are affected directly by having cancer, but it affects all their family and all their friends. I think it touches everybody, and I think everyone has got their own personal story about it. So, I think it’s good to do as much as we can to raise money to help fight against it, because it’s such a huge issue that affects everybody. All of us.


PHILIPPA PERRY

Can you bake?

Yes, I can.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Well, my weakness is definitely presentation. I belong to the rustic school of cookery. I don’t really normally even decorate cakes, unless lobbing some double cream on the top counts as decoration. It’s all about the taste. I’m not a presentation type cook. My husband said if I ever opened a restaurant, it would be called ‘Slop It Out’.

So, your strengths are in the taste?

Yeah, I’m all about taste. I’m really fond of eating, so I cook to eat.

Why is Stand Up to Cancer important to you?

Well, my mate’s got cancer, she’s just had a third of her lung removed. When someone close to you is very, very ill suddenly, it brings it home to you. There’s nothing much I can do, but at least I can give a weekend to making cakes. If that helps, then I’ll do it.


REECE SHEARSMITH

Can you bake?

A little bit. I would never say I was expert, and I do it all the time, or that it’s a hobby. When I turn my hand to it, I’m quite exacting, so I get the recipe and I just follow it to the letter, I don’t deviate, and I do exactly what I’m instructed to do. It normally turns out alright, it’s not like it always goes wrong.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

My strength would be the ability to not deviate from the recipe! I know some people think “Oh, it says that, but I’ll just put another blob in.” I’m big on not doing that. I think the recipes and amounts are there for a reason, so I stick to it. But I think maybe my downfall is that I’m too exacting, and I will get too hung up on trying to make it all perfect, and therefore time will run away from me. That’s the danger for me, I think I could end up getting completely swamped in the minutiae and not see the bigger picture.

Have you done anything in the way of practise or preparation for the competition?

Yeah, I did a bit more baking over the last week. I thought, generally, I should just try and be in the world of mixing and adding butter. I made a few sponge cakes, and I did some icing, because I thought that might come up. They get very particular about what it is that you’re doing. So, I thought a general practice would be good. I haven’t gone to town anywhere else. I didn’t make pastry, I didn’t make bread, so if I wander off the sponge road, I’m in uncharted territory.

Why is Stand Up To Cancer important to you?

You can’t get around the fact that cancer, at some point, will and has probably affected the lives of everybody that we know. It’s the dreads that hangs over humankind, I think. It’s great to bring awareness to it, with a lovely show like this, that’s fun while you’re doing it, but carries with it a message about awareness, it’s there for a reason. Hopefully it will encourage people to put some money towards beating it. How could you not do it? It’s a lovely thing to be part of. And very important – probably the most important thing you’ll ever do, because you’d be very lucky to get through life without knowing someone on the receiving end of a diagnosis. Kit’s such a devastating illness, it touches so many people, how could you not want to be a part of trying to raise awareness and keep the drive going towards stopping it.


Celebrity Bake Off continues Tuesdays at 8pm on Channel 4.

Interviews: Channel 4 Press