The Great Celebrity Bake Off 2022: episode one – as it happened

Last modified: 09: 14 PM GMT+0

Emma Willis, Clara Amfo, Alex Horne and Blake Harrison entered the tent for this year’s charity competition. But who wowed the judges with a stunning showstopper – and whose bakes were half-baked?

We leave you with this. Goodnight!

"Prue has taken home the fondant icing of her wrestling with Paul home with her" isn't that nice #GBBO

— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) March 22, 2022

Thanks for a lovely evening, pals. It’s always a pleasure. See you next week!

Well, obviously OBVIOUSLY.


The results are in...

… and it’s Emma who’s the first Star Baker! (obviously). Well deserved, and it couldn’t really go to anybody else, could it?

I love that even in the celebrity series Prue doesn’t mince her words:

“I think it tasted disgusting.”

I’m coveting Emma’s jumper. Imagine wearing that on a cold spring morning. Lovely.

See, I told you that they should have saved themselves a day’s filming.

I love Emma’s. She’s won this by a country mile! That said, I take issue with Paul describing it as “very neat”... maybe I’m being harsh, though. I think my hackles are still up from that handshake earlier on.

It was cement to be. Give it up for @EmmaWillis’s Choux Bun Building Site Showstopper. #GBBO

— British Bake Off (@BritishBakeOff) March 22, 2022

Oh my god it is worse if you zoom in.

tbh, learning that this is called "a triangle choke" doesn't make it sound better #bakeoff #gbbo

— Ariadne 🦋 (@Ariadne_Reviews) March 22, 2022

I know! Hilarious that she had ambitions of baking an entire stadium. At least she got a “fantastic flavour” comment from Paul.

Clara has made three (3) buns in three hours.

Going for gold - or at least a handshake. Clara Amfo’s Choux Track & Field Stadium Showstopper. #GBBO

— British Bake Off (@BritishBakeOff) March 22, 2022

Blake explains that his cunilingual fondants are actually in a “triangle lock”. I didn’t know that’s what it was called these days, but I suppose we’re always learning. More upsettingly, his sculpture is sitting off-centre on the presentation board.

Blake’s Choux MMA Octagon Showstopper pulls no punches. #GBBO @BlakeHarrison23

— British Bake Off (@BritishBakeOff) March 22, 2022

I reckon he’s had something against baking ever since he was made to sit on one as part of a Taskmaster challenge…

Alex should have warmed this all up in the micro-wav-ay first.

We’re fully on board for @AlexHorne’s Choux Skate Park Showstopper! #GBBO

— British Bake Off (@BritishBakeOff) March 22, 2022

It’s time for the celebs to face the judgement of Paul and Prue!

I, for one, can’t wait to see Paul eat cold mashed potato.

Also, still thinking about this.

Erm...Blakes showstopper of Paul and Prue does not remind me of wrestling.

Meanwhile Alex has somehow baked a skate park made out of cold sausages and mashed potato. Does anyone know exactly why he is doing this? Did he do this as a bet?!


not sure this is Paul and Prue "wrestling" #GBBO

— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) March 22, 2022

Blake has put Paul and Prue in a remarkably compromising position in the centre of a Choux Stonehenge. Perhaps it’s some sort of pagan ritual I’m not aware of.

Oh, Clara. I am feeling for her but it does feel like a forgone conclusion really.

I love that Clara has taken the flavour comment so personally she is still referring to it two challenges later. And now she’s having her own Baked Alaska in the bin moment.

Emma and the Master Blaker have moved on to piping. Remember Prue’s advice from last year, anyone?

oh my god. #GBBO

— michael chakraverty (@mschakraverty) October 26, 2021

Everyone is delicately dealing with their choux buns. Meanwhile, Alex is cooking sausages. It is like he’s in a different programme.

I see 7 years of Taskmaster has broken Alex Horne #gbbo #BakeOff

— Ariadne 🦋 (@Ariadne_Reviews) March 22, 2022

I see 7 years of Taskmaster has broken Alex Horne #gbbo #BakeOff

— Ariadne 🦋 (@Ariadne_Reviews) March 22, 2022

Let’s all agree: Clara is not having a good day.

I do! If you stick out your tongue whilst cutting onions, then your eyes won’t get watery because the tongue will soak up the moisture. The only downside, of course, is sticking your tongue out whilst cutting up onions.

Alex has broken out his onion goggles. Does anybody BTL have onion-cutting tips please? I find myself in floods just looking at one these days.

Let’s all agree: Alex is panicking.

Alex is apparently planning to be the first ever baker to “stop the show” with his Showstopper. If anything’s going to do it, a bake coated in cold mashed potato will.

I think my passion might be Blake flicking water into his oven. I found it particularly attractive, and I couldn’t tell you why.

I do like it when the judges help the bakers. It makes my heart warm (and reminds me that the judges do actually know what they’re doing).

Somehow having diabolical hayfever in March.

I can eat 12 Tunnocks Teacakes in as many minutes. How about you?

Michael, what is your hidden talent?


The Bakers must make an impressive Choux-Stopper (sorry), representing a secret talent.

Ah, the producers’ challenge dartboard is out again. The wax figure skit did make me chuckle, though.

I was just thinking this! They really weren’t that bad.

Given how many times I've seen actual decent bakers turn out slightly crappy madeleines, the fact this lot produced edible variations on the theme seems absolutely miraculous.

A powerful, powerful reminder there of why the celebrities are taking part in Bake Off, all to raise money for Stand Up To Cancer. To donate to the charity, all you need to do is head to the SU2C website.

Emma has won this week’s Bake Off. They should have just saved themselves a day’s filming.

I’ll take a 50% success rate. Besides, I’ll never complain about Emma succeeding.

4. Clara. 3. Blake [he’s not the winner, sorry Michael!]. 2. Little Alex Horne. 1. Emma.

Paul is overwhelmed by Clara’s large nuts. Blake has overb(l)aked his, and Emma’s cream of the crop.

Genuinely, I’ve seen worse technical bakes in the main series of Bake Off compared to what this lot have made. I’m impressed.

It is the technical judging.

My money’s on Blake winning with Clara at the bottom. What do we think, BTL?

My review of madeleines: not worth the faff.

I reckon we can put Alex and Blake in the “secretly competitive” category. Clara’s battling to stay afloat and Emma’s just happy to be there, really.

RIP the microwave / micro-wav-ay / meek-ro-wä-vé that Clara just used to burn her chocolate.

Blake’s madeleines look good! I’ve not seen humps this impressive since that Black Eyed Peas song circa 2005.

Matt: “Do you bake often?”

Blake: [looking at what he has created] “Mate.”

This isn’t going particularly well, is it? Please, for the love of god, pipe the batter. PIPE THE BATTER!

“It was warm, and soft to the touch”, says Emma, describing Paul. My word. “Moist fingers”, adds Noel, unnecessarily.

The bakers copying each other because none of them know what a ribbon trail is: probably not the wisest of ideas.

The “bits” that Blake has just thrown out are the caramelised milk solids, meaning he’s just got rid of the main part of the brown butter. Good.

Beurre noisette (or brown butter) is basically when you keep cooking butter after it’s melted and it starts to caramelise, lending it a lovely nutty flavour. Or, as Emma put it, “nut butter” - which I think might refer to something else.

Alex is taking the time to add more words to concise Bake Off instructions, clearly not realising how little time they are always given in a technical challenge.

Thanks Scott. That’s the kind of quality Guardian journalism that readers come to these blogs for.

It has been ages since I have had a good hump.

Still chuckling at “P-Rue”, here. Madeleines are a good challenge, but traditionally the batter needs a fair bit of chilling so they can get a good hump (as it were). May prove tricky.

Now onto technical. They have to bake 12 maple and pecan madeleines, stylishly dipped in chocolate with a white chocolate feathering.

They have to have “an elegant rise and a perfect dip,” whatever that means.

Every time this happens, the handshake I got three years ago means less.

Let’s all agree, once and for all, that Celebrity Hollywood Handshakes are not real Hollywood Handshakes.

Blake’s sloths appear to be wearing grey puffa jackets - but in good news, Emma’s Viennese Willies do look considerably less phallic now they’ve been iced. Perhaps it’s the tusks.

“I think they look good. I think they look like fish.” They’re snails.

Still not sure what Alex has made.

Gosh, I’ve not missed the sound of people eating. Gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Clara’s up first. Prue’s facial expression there said it all.

hang this in the louvre #gbbo

— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) March 22, 2022

On to the judging…

… ready for some undeserved praise? I know I am!

Narrator: “they did not look like elephants.”

Nice, erm, trunk. 🐘 #GBBO @EmmaWillis

— British Bake Off (@BritishBakeOff) March 22, 2022

“They look less like willies now,” sighs Emma with relief.

Looks like his cat has gone to town, doesn’t it? I was busy thinking about figs and completely missed what Alex told the judges he was making. I honestly couldn’t tell you what they are - perhaps hedgehogs, post-lorry?

It was the only thing that got me through the pandemic.

All I am really hoping for is another James McAvoy.

Can we talk about Noel Fielding’s jumper this week? I wonder whether it is deliberately supposed to look like it has been chewed up by the washing machine.

Oooh, Clara’s spraying her biscuits to give them spots - that’s a very good idea. Elsewhere, Blake’s fondant is an expected disaster and Emma is somehow piping from both ends of a piping bag.

Emma has just baked giant testicles. I’m sorry.

This feels so utterly relatable.

this is a *mood* #GBBO

— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) March 22, 2022

Is anybody going to tell Little Alex Horne that he has flour on his face? It’s been a while now.

Just noticed Clara is wearing leather trousers. Doesn’t seem suitable kitchen attire to me, she must have awfully sweaty legs.

So many quotes in this show, now this one from Little Alex Horne: “This is Santa. Santa died.”

Should we revive the “are fig rolls biscuits” debate? Or are we all far too tired?

I also can’t remember the result of our conversation the last time figs appeared in the tent. Did we agree that figs contain dead wasps or not? Either way, it’s stuck with me and I’ve steered clear ever since.

Oh dear. Blake is using fondant icing for his biscuits. Fondant icing never really works - it normally ends up looking clumsy, and isn’t the shortcut people think it is.

Surprised that Blake from The Inbetweeners didn’t bake the willies, to be honest. Feels very much on brand for him.

Well. Emma is piping Viennese Willies, bringing a new meaning to her suggestion that they should receive just “a quick dunk, in and out”.

we are five minutes into celebrity bake off 2022 and a celebrity is accidentally baking genitalia #GBBO

— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) March 22, 2022

Fellow Taskmaster friends, Little Alex Horne looks strange out of a suit, doesn’t he?

The stuff you learn about celebrities from this show. For example, we have just learnt that Clara has never cut a vanilla pod.

You mean a meek-ro-wä-vé - but Queen Emma has no need for such mortal things. Why would you, when you’re married to Matt Willis from Busted?

Does Emma not know how to use a microwave? Forgive me. I mean a micro-wav-ay?

Clara: “I am going to be talking to all of my utensils. You are my bestie.” We are ten seconds into the Signature and Clara has already lost it.

The Signature challenge is to make 18 “highly decorated” animal shaped biscuits!

I think the word “highly” may end up doing a lot of heavy lifting here.

“The worst thing that I can do today: everyone dies of severe food poisoning because of what I’ve baked.” Aim high, Blake!

Clara says she’s a “cake enthusiast” - one for my CV, perhaps. Elsewhere, there’s an early win for the bingo card as Blake appears unsure about how to put on an apron.

First quote of the episode, mere seconds in. Alex Horne: “I don’t want to take my top off!”

I do appreciate that they’re entering the tent in height order.

Well, if that’s anything to go by it looks like we’re in for some kitchen carnage! *rubs hands with glee*

Hello! I have somehow locked myself of my guardian account so ironically while I’m up here I can’t lurk around saying hello down there!

Bake Off and Taskmaster? My Channel 4 franchise head is hurting!

In the interest of transparency I should probably note that I have the most enormous crush on Emma Willis and will find it hard to criticise anything she does. She must win!

Now, onto Bake Off bingo! Here’s your list of things to watch out for:

  • A rookie baking mistake (define at your pleasure)
  • Paul staring down a nervous baker
  • Prue dressing as a Picasso painting
  • Paul giving out meaningless Hollywood Handshakes
  • Celebs desperately plying the judges with booze

And fear not, I’ve not forgotten our customary Forbidden Ingredient. As ever, should the bakers include this, they shall be expelled immediately from our collective hearts. This week, we’re banning the use of blue food colouring. Excluding a raspberry slushie, it never looks appetising and gives me the serious ick.


As this series is to raise money for charity, Michael and I are also donating part of our fee to Stand up to Cancer (if you want to donate, just head to their website). And for regular liveblog readers we are of course on *mango watch* in case any sneak through (for non-regular readers: this video might help explain our obsession with it)

This week’s victims … I mean contestants … are television presenter Emma Willis, Radio 1 legend Clara Amfo, Taskmaster’s Little Alex Horne and The Inbetweeners’ Blake Harrison.

Hello chums. I’ve got a real soft spot for the celeb version of this show – there’s always the secretly super competitive ones as well as the hapless ones who can barely identify a whisk. My favourite type of celeb baker are those that combine the two, like KSI last year who was desperate to succeed but also put an open-topped pie onto a serving stand the wrong way up.

I shall never recover. #GBBO

— michael chakraverty (@mschakraverty) March 30, 2021


Welcome to The Great Stand Up To Cancer Bake Off liveblog. I’m Scott Bryan, he’s Michael Chakraverty, and over the next couple of hours we’ll be your eyes and ears to the best (and as this is the celebrity series, quite likely the worst) baking in the tent.

If you haven’t watched the celebrity series, you’re in for a treat. As someone who cannot bake, it is lovely to have everyone on my level. Plus, I love how surreal it can all get. My highlights over the years have included John Lithgow depicting a scene from The Crown in biscuits (including him in his role as Churchill). Also, Alison Hammond thinking that her oven doors had gone missing (when they had just retracted back into the oven), Joe Suggs passing out and Alex Jones’ KitchenAid bowl exploding because she had failed to connect the bowl to the mixer correctly … all of which happened in the same episode.

Then, of course, there’s this.

Literally us all. #BakeOff

— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) March 12, 2019


Michael Chakraverty and Scott Bryan

The GuardianTramp

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