Can you bake?
Right… so… I enjoy baking in the comfort of my own home and to my knowledge I’ve never had any complaints! However, pressure will take me completely out of my comfort zone which will mean I’ll panic, so who knows what could happen on camera while racing against the clock!
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
It’s a bonus that I enjoy baking as I used to bake a lot with my mum when I was young. The trouble is I get distracted very easily by talking and I don’t work very well at all under pressure.
Do you have a signature dish?
At home I’d normally make a three-tier carrot cake or a Victoria sponge, I absolutely love doing either of those. You really can’t beat a cup of tea and a slice of cake!
Have you ever had any culinary disasters?
Not complete disasters, no, because when you’re in the comfort of your own home, you know where everything is, and you can adapt recipes and have some music playing. But I’ve a feeling I might have a complete disaster here, even though I’ve practised it at home.
What’s the worst thing you could be asked to make in the competition?
Pastries, because I feel like they’re probably really difficult to make well.
Have you done anything in the way of practise or preparation for the competition?
I did practise the first bake, I did it twice at home and it came out pretty well, and I timed myself and it was absolutely fine. But I didn’t have cameras on me, and people talking to me. It’s going to be a totally different environment and that does worry me.
Did you do any baking during lockdown?
I did a LOT of baking during lockdown. I love baking in general, thanks to my mum! But I never usually have time to bake. The first lockdown for me was the perfect opportunity to try different things. I made crumbles, cupcakes, different flavoured loafs... cookies! You name it - I probably tried to bake it!
Are you competitive? How badly do you want to win?
It’s strange, I’m competitive with myself in terms of keeping fit for example but when I got here it just kind of went away, the competitiveness inside me wasn’t really there. It was more a case of just wanting everyone to do really well, and then I started helping other people! I guess we’re here for an amazing cause, for a reason, to raise money for Stand Up to Cancer, and that’s the most important thing. And to have fun doing it, because I won’t get this wonderful opportunity again.
Why is SU2C important to you?
My grandfather passed away from cancer when I was 15 years old. My auntie did as well, just before I started recording my first album. My ex-boyfriend was also diagnosed with cancer only a couple of years ago, but we got through it together and he’s now in remission, which is a massive blessing. So, I wanted to do it for those three. You’re sadly ever far from someone who has cancer or is experiencing cancer in their life. That breaks my heart. Just making yourself aware of that, it’s so important. And with Chadwick [Boseman] just recently passing, I never met him, but I was a massive fan of his work. To see what he had achieved whilst having cancer and going through treatment, I think it’s absolutely remarkable. He didn’t say a word, he just got on with it. I think that, in itself, is inspirational. I’m doing this for all the people who have gone through it.
After this, you’ll have done The X Factor, Strictly and Bake Off. You’ve got the full set!
I’ve been very lucky to be able to do things like Strictly and now Bake Off. I’m very, very lucky, I don’t take it for granted at all. I love these shows that bring people together and that bring joy to people at home watching. That’s what it’s all about. I’m the biggest fan of these shows at home myself. Bake Off is something I’ve always wanted to be part of for years now. I have to pinch myself sometimes, thinking “how did I land that?”. But it’s brilliant, I love getting involved, being a part of Bake Off is awesome.
Are you a fan of the show?
I’m a massive fan of Bake Off. Honestly., it’s a massive privilege to be here today. I’m always watching it at home.
Does being a fan mean you’re intimidated by Paul and Prue?
They’re both so lovely, but of course it’s intimidating, because they know what they’re talking about and it’s all about the final product. Maybe intimidating is not the right word, but I do get a bit anxious around them, because you want to impress them. So, here’s hoping I can do that.
You have to keep fit and look after yourself in your line of work. Do you allow yourself pastries and cakes?
Absolutely! I feel like everyone should eat things in moderation. It’s important not to deprive yourself of anything, but to also be careful with what you’re eating. It’s about enjoying life and finding a balance that works for you and understanding the amount of calories you’re eating a day rather than focusing on something that you believe might by bad for you.