Bake Off's Sandi Toksvig replaces celebrity baker who quits mid-episode

Justin Harp
Photo credit: Mark Bourdillon - Channel 4

From Digital Spy

The Great Celebrity Bake Off's 2019 series for Stand Up to Cancer has given us several firsts: the first-ever vagina cake and the first-ever cream horn made with scrambled eggs.

But Tuesday's (March 19) episode gave viewers the most monumental first in Bake Off history: the first time a presenter actually became a baker! That distinction went to Sandi Toksvig.

Sandi started out the charity episode as usual offering witty commentary with Noel Fielding on the shaky shortbread presented by comedian Johnny Vegas, rapper Big Narstie, Olympian Katarina Johnson-Thompson and politician Jess Phillips in the Signature.

Photo credit: Mark Bourdillon - Channel 4

Disaster struck after the first day through, when Noel made a surprising announcement to three of the bakers ahead of the Showcase.

"There's been a development overnight," Noel told them.

"Unfortunately, Big Narstie can’t be with us today as he’s a little bit unwell, but he will be replaced by another baker. It’s a seamless swap, don’t worry.”

That replacement turned out to be Sandi, or "Little Narstie", as Noel hilariously called her while welcoming her to her oven!

On the one hand, losing Big Narstie was a downer. He'd been hilarious in the signature and technical eating his own bakes, going rogue with his own rules and shouting at the judges: "Wah gwan Pru Dog!"

On the other hand, Sandi was baking. In the tent!

Sandi just joined the celebrities for the Showstopper round to make a 'self-portrait' cake. Full disclosure: the judges gave Sandi an actual recipe for her cake since she'd stepped in on short notice.

"I haven’t cooked a sponge since domestic science O-level," Sandi joked.

Soon enough, Sandi found out how distracting Noel's wisecracks and the judges' banter actually can be when her batter started to curdle.

"Two seasons of presenting and I've honestly learned nothing, except for how to pronounce 'ganache' with panache," she laughed.

Meanwhile, her fellow celebrity bakers were worrying if Sandi would somehow put them to shame with her late entry into the competition.

"I'll be really, really upset if Sandi plays a blinder," Johnny Vegas joked.

The judges were ultimately impressed by Sandi's decision to bake her self-portrait in the shape of herself hiding behind a wall. As for the taste... it was tasty enough to earn her a Hollywood Handshake!

"I think it's a well thought-through and well-baked cake," Paul smiled, with Prue nodding: "I agree."

Paul and Prue unfortunately decided Sandi wouldn't be in contention for Star Baker because she hadn't done all three challenges - that honour went to Jess Phillips instead!

Even though she didn't walk away with the Star Baker apron, Sandi said she was thrilled with her experience: "The thing that I really learnt today was to throw yourselves into it.

"Give it a go, raise some money for Stand Up To Cancer and you have a lovely end product as well."

Viewers were just as proud:

The Great Celebrity Bake Off continues next Tuesday (March 26) at 8pm on Channel 4. To find out more about Stand Up to Cancer, or to donate, visit the website.

Want up-to-the-minute entertainment news and features? Just hit 'Like' on our Digital Spy Facebook page and 'Follow' on our @digitalspy Instagram and Twitter account.

('You Might Also Like',)