Can you bake?
No. I’m particularly bad. I definitely think I’ll be the weakest on the show. But you know what, we’re here to raise money, so we just need to make as much money as possible and raise awareness, and it’s all for charity, so you sort of don’t mind making an arse of yourself, because it’s for a good cause.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
I don’t know if I have any strengths when it comes to baking. My weakness is that I’m massively inexperienced. I don’t bake at all. The last time I thought about baking was probably at school.
So, you weren’t one if these people buying up all the flour during lockdown?
No! And that’s the ridiculous thing. The whole country’s been bloody baking. That’s all we’ve been doing, I’m the only person in the UK who hasn’t been baking religiously since March.
You haven’t done anything at all? Everyone does the odd banana bread, surely?
Apparently so! I think people reckon I’m exaggerating. I honestly have never baked as an adult. It should make for an interesting couple of days.
What about cooking in general? Are you a dab hand in the kitchen?
I can cook. I can make a roast dinner, and I like a bit of pasta, just basics. But it’s funny, I know lots of people find baking really cathartic and take a lot from it. I’m definitely not one of those people. I cook because I have to, I don’t enjoy it, I don’t find it pleasurable.
Have you ever had any culinary disasters?
I’m not in there enough, so not really. I’ve burned stuff, of course, but I’ve never set the kitchen on fire or anything ridiculous like that.
Have you done anything in the way of preparation for the competition?
No, which was very foolish, because I’m getting the impression the people, I’ll be in the tent with may have been practising – certainly a couple of them. It’s not the first time they’ve done it, but for me I’m coming at it totally fresh. But actually, I wonder if that’ll make me better. I’ll be so reliant on the recipe, it’s all about precision isn’t it, so maybe it’ll help that I’ll stick so firmly to the recipe. And I won’t be complacent, because I know I’ll have to pull it out of the bag.
Are you competitive? How badly do you want to win?
No, I’m not bothered. Not for something like this, because we’re all here for charity. If I enjoyed baking, and I wanted to pursue it, then I would definitely give it everything, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.
Your future doesn’t lie in a bakery?
I don’t think so. I think I’d get sacked quite quickly.
Why is SU2C important to you?
We’ve all lost people to cancer, haven’t we? It’s just always so heart breaking, and everyone’s got their stories that revolve around losing someone to cancer or battling cancer. So, it feels like an obvious cause to get behind. And it’s a great show as well, it’s feel-good, it’s a lovely atmosphere, so I just feel really lucky to be part of it.
You have a history in talent shows, after winning Strictly. I imagine this is a bit less exhausting and less stressful?
I’m only here for a couple of days, so it feels like a bit of a treat. Strictly involves slogging your guts out for months. I really fell in love with dancing. You know, you suddenly find you’ve fallen for ballroom dancing, which you never thought would be a thing in your life. So, it’s quite different in that sense.
You’ve said taking part in Bake Off won’t make you do more baking in the future. Have you kept up with the dance?
I love dancing, I love it so, so much, it brings me so much joy. I dance around the house. But it’s so time consuming. Unless you do it for a living, you can’t give it as much as you’d like to.
You’ve travelled to some pretty intimidating places, and met some fairly unsavoury characters, in your broadcasting career. How does any of that compare with being judged by Paul Hollywood?
I don’t know, maybe I’ve got him on a good day, but he’s been really pleasant so far. He doesn’t give a huge amount away though, does he? He sort of leaves you guessing.
Presumably, though, nothing is quite as unnerving as going on Celebrity Mastermind?
Oh my God, yeah. I did that when I was young, it was a while ago. Yeah, John Humphrys is a good deal more serious than any of the other judges I’ve encountered. Yeah, that definitely felt a bit more serious.
As presenter of Glow Up, you’ve seen a lot of creativity and artistic skill up close. Do you think that might help you at all in decorating your bakes?
It’s funny, watching Matt [Lucas] do his thing as presenter, because I’m Matt on Glow Up. He’s a real sweetheart, I have to say – really, really lovely. He comes over, and you have to have a bit of a chitchat, and you’re thinking “Oh God, I just need to bake!” So, it’s funny, that must be how the makeup artists feel when I come over to ask them about their art on the show.