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Star baker revealed on The Great Celebrity Bake Off

Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith were impressed with the contestants’ bakes (C4/Love Productions/Mark Bourdillon/PA)
Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith were impressed with the contestants’ bakes (C4/Love Productions/Mark Bourdillon/PA)

James McAvoy said he was living out his “fantasies” after being crowned star baker on The Great Celebrity Bake Off.

The Scottish actor saw off competition from former athlete Dame Kelly Holmes, comedian David Baddiel and pop star Anne-Marie in the Channel 4 baking competition, which is in aid of the charity Stand Up To Cancer.

All four stars surprised judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith with the quality of their three bakes.

After being named winner, McAvoy said: “Dame Kelly Holmes was doing gold medal level baking. I think it must have been exceptionally tight and I feel fortunate.

“Hopefully we can raise a good amount of money for Stand Up To Cancer. That, of course, is the most important thing. Me getting to live out my fantasies in the Bake Off tent is not important but it was a lovely thing to get to do.”

For the signature challenge, they were tasked with creating a deep-filled decorative tart.

McAvoy’s raspberry and lemon meringue pie prompted Hollywood to remark: “You’re so close to perfection with that.”

In the technical challenge, they made six buttermilk cheese scones, served with homemade butter.

Baddiel placed last with his pastry-like creations, while McAvoy claimed first place.

Leith told him: “I’d pay good money for those scones.”

“I am absolutely gobsmacked,” the Hollywood star replied.

The showstopper challenge saw the celebrities create 3D marble cakes representing themselves in animal form.

Dame Kelly opted for a chocolate and chilli cake shaped like a bear, while Anne-Marie made a marshmallow and chocolate cake styled after a monkey, her father’s childhood nickname for her.

Baddiel chose to ignore the judges’ directions and bake a cake styled after a cat, named Chairman Meow, that he shared with long-standing comedy partner Frank Skinner when they lived together.

Hollywood described his cake as “delicious” but “rudimentary”.

McAvoy wowed with a pina colada cake shaped like a snow leopard named Brendan, in tribute to his character Lord Asriel in hit BBC series His Dark Materials, whose daemon companion is a snow leopard named Stelmaria.

“For someone that doesn’t bake, that is surprisingly good,” said Hollywood.

Matt Lucas is hosting on his own while Noel Fielding is away on paternity leave after welcoming his second child, a daughter named Iggy, with his partner Lliana Bird.

Comedian Katherine Ryan and broadcasters Anneka Rice and Stacey Dooley are also competing in the series.

The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up To Cancer continues on Channel 4.

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