We’ve already reached week 2 of Celebrity Bake off Stand Up For Cancer and another round of celebrities purporting to have never baked before, eagerly took their places in the tent. This week we saw Professor X himself – James McAvoy, comedy has-been and now hugely successful children’s author David Baddiel, former olympic athlete Dame Kelly Holmes who should, in theory, run circles around the rest, and very pink, pale and giggly Anne-Marie – known for her annoyingly catchy pop tunes, and also now for not knowing what a scone is.
The show began with the rather startling vision of Paul Hollywood, dressed in purple velvet (think 70’s saturday night fever style), hands placed firmly in pockets taking his usual stance. Prue appeared to be trying to recreate a multicoloured zebra crossing with her outfit, and Matt cunningly attempted to hide his ever increasing girth with an oversized cloud covered shirt. Sadly, still no Noel appeared to complete the comedy duo (still on dad duty).
From the outset it looked like Professor X meant business. If he’d never been in the kitchen before, his acting here was certainly the best ever seen. James seemed unperturbed throughtout his time in the tent, taking each tiny setback on the chin, then proceeding to produce some of the perkiest peaks ever seen in the tent with his lemon meringue and raspberry curd creation. Prue declared that she had “no idea lemon meringue could be improved upon, but that James had definitely achieved it”.
David Baddiel clearly had never entered a kitchen before the show, appearing totally unaware that freezers have moveable shelves. Instead he resorted to putting his ‘Revenge for my mum’s disappointing desserts’ chocolate tart in the fridge – unsurprisingly resulting in it not setting in time and cascading into a pile of goo, before the judges eyes. Astonishingly, the judges both agreed that it was a mess but tasted far better than it looked.
Kelly revealed herself to be a chocaholic and shared with us that in several of her races she would focus her mind on the end goal of chocolate – not the actual medal. Kelly produced a very passable pink peaked Eton Mess tart, in memory of her mum who died of cancer 3 years ago, and literally jumped for joy when the judges were pleased with her pie, wiping away a tiny tear, no doubt shed for her much missed mum.
Anne-Marie attemped a bannoffee pie, and to be fair it did look like a bannoffee pie and was quite edible, until Prue struggled to chew through the caramel layer which was almost as thick as Anne-marie clearly made herself appear when asking the question “what’s a scone?” in the next round – the technical of (making their own butter) buttermilk cheese scones.
Again, James excelled in the technical and Prue proclaimed his scones to be pretty and perfect, with the obligatory flat sides you expect from a scone – pointed out by perfectionist Paul.
The final showstopper round required the bakers to produce a marble cake in the form of an animal that represented themselves. James attempted a pina colada cake with pineapple and lime jam, in the form of a snow leopard (over ambitious for a novice?). Kelly attemped a chilli chocolate cake in the shape of a bear. David’s chocolate cake was intended to appear as Chairman Meow – the cat he once shared with Frank Skinner his former flatmate. Sadly the cat looked more like it had been splatted by the time he had finished with it. Anne-Marie’s charming looking monkey cake turned out to be almost bordering on inedible, as Prue declared “it’s really not a pleasure to eat!”.
So, unsurprisingly the winner of the week was the over-achieving and quite possibly perfect in every way, James McAvoy. Clearly his years of acting in a multitude of varied and demanding roles, has given him a no-fear and don’t panic attitude to life which ultimately paid off in the tent. My money was on him from the word go!