“The Great Celebrity Bake Off” with Daisy Ridley and James McAvoy Will Air This Spring

updated Feb 24, 2021
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Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

The premise and much of the appeal of Great British Bake Off comes in the delight of watching ordinary citizens turn piles of flour and eggs into ornate and impressive confections. But, as last year’s fantastic holiday special featuring the cast of Derry Girls proved, it can be nearly as much fun to see famous people struggle to come anywhere close to creating the magical cakes of other contestants. (They were the best episodes of GBBO since the departure of Mary Berry in my opinion, and no, I will not be taking questions on this.)

So, fresh off the success of its summer coronavirus bubble episodes and judge Prue Leith getting her vaccine and Tweeting a sweet photo of the occasion last month, the show is coming back soon — sort of — and with a celebrity twist.

This spring, reports Deadline, a five-part series will air in the United Kingdom as part of a Stand Up to Cancer fundraiser. Some of the contestants will be familiar to American audiences — Daisy Ridley from Star Wars and James McAvoy from Atonement and His Dark Materials. Others don’t have quite the same broad cross-pond appeal, like retired British runner Dame Kelly Holmes or television host Stacey Dooley. The full list, from Deadline, includes comedians John Bishop, Tom Allen, Katherine Rya, Rob Beckett, and David Baddiel; YouTuber KSI; Paralympian Ade Adepitan; author Philippa Perry; broadcaster Nick Grimshaw; singers Jade Thirlwall, Nadine Coyle, and Alexandra Burke; TV host Anneka Rice; actor Reece Shearsmith; and musicians Dizzee Rascal and Anne-Marie.

There’s no air date in the U.S. or word of it coming to American streaming services or channels. Still, as the pandemic lumbers on and those of us younger than Prue await wider availability of the vaccine, a strange comfort comes in the form of watching famous people struggle to craft sugar and butter into edible art.