The Great Comic Relief Bake Off, review: Jonathan Ross flounders with flaccid profiteroles and grilled cake

Hoping not to poison Paul and Mary this time week were Jonathan Ross, Abbey Clancy, stylist to the stars Gok Wan and internet sensation Zoella

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The Independent Culture

It was week two of The Great Comic Relief Bake Off and we had lots of questions. Have Mel and Sue fallen out? Can Abbey Clancy bake like she can dance? Would Gok Wan's profiteroles have more oomph than Jonathan Ross's? Who is Zoella? When will they let Ed Byrne come home from Uganda? Some answers below.

‘Bras and big pants are much easier’

Pouring "blood, sweat and glitter" into his bakes, human sewing machine and yoghurt salesman Gok was unabashed about his ambition to be Star Baker. Sizing up his baking rivals (Rossy – "Nah". Zoella – "Yeah". Abbey Clancy – "Beautiful. But no good in the kitchen". Meow) Gok fancied his chances. Despite his "Geisha cupcakes" reminding Paul Hollywood of Roy Orbison ("Only the Scone-ly" anyone?) Gok has this one sewn up.

Bring back Mel and Sue!

We all like Mel. We all like Sue. But we love Mel and Sue! The dynamic between Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc is one of the Bake Off’s key features. Without the other they seem on best behaviour, but together they are like naughty school kids, egging each other on and forever giggling behind the judges’ backs. Can we have them back please?

Gok Wan

‘Jonathan why have you got your whisk out?’

Put it away, Rossy. This week’s "unconventional baking desires" award goes to chat show megalith Jonathan Ross as he displayed what he charitably (well, it is for Comic Relief) described as "avant garde baking". Among highlights that included grilling a cake, Rossy’s finest moment came when hopelessly attempting to pipe red crème pâtissière into his somewhat flaccid profiteroles, in a scene that resembled a guilty motorist trying to hastily shove the innards back inside some road kill.

Abbey Clancy’s cup of sick

Viennese whirl waltz! Paso Doble cream! Quiche Step! None of these puns were used in relation to Strictly winner Abbey Clancy and more’s the pity. Despite bringing an (almond) slice of glamour to the tent, Abbey clearly needs to work on her mixing technique, with her concoctions at times resembling "a cup of sick" and "brains" (her words, not mine). Yum. "It’s all in the wrist, Abs" no one said. We were missing Sue.

Abbey Clancy


‘It’s basically a chocolate covered rod’

Blimey, Abbey. But she wasn’t alone – the showstopper challenge (a marble cake in the shape of your favourite building – we’ve all made one) caused ripples of panic throughout the marquee, and the end results were… interesting. Both Abbey and Gok opted to mould the Shard and while Abbey’s construction looked more impressive that was due to the fact that it was essentially a chocolate façade concealing a stodgy horror show pinned together with toothpicks. Delicious.

Zoella on Bake Off

‘Ms. Bez’ and Planet Hollywood

Though the standards of baking aren’t quite what we expect from the Bake Off gazebo, and Mel and Sue can no longer be in the same tent at the same time, these Comic Relief specials retain the show’s main attractions – Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. Watching ‘Ms. Bez’ (thanks, Gok) delve deep into her vocabulary bag for soothing words of kindness when faced with the baking equivalent of Chernobyl is a wonder to behold (‘informal’ will take some beating). And Paul, looming like a sexy baked potato, is just about concealing his doughy anger at some of the bakers’ haphazard efforts. But we know it’s there. Can the Merseyside maestro keep his cool?