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‘Remedial baker’ Jenny Eclair on ‘depressing and exhausting’ Bake Off practice

Jenny Eclair (Yui Mok/PA)
Jenny Eclair (Yui Mok/PA)

Jenny Eclair has described herself as a “remedial baker” and said her practice session for The Great Celebrity Bake Off For Stand Up To Cancer was “depressing and exhausting”.

The comedian will compete against documentary maker Louis Theroux, former Love Island star Ovie Soko and TV star Russell Howard in the famous tent to raise money for cancer research.

Eclair said: “I have the baking skills of a six-to-seven-year-old.

“I don’t have a sweet tooth, and I don’t have a recipe book for things like biscuits and cakes.

“I’m a savoury girl, I like a pork pie and a lump of cheese.

“I haven’t got a baking tray, I haven’t got a rolling pin, I haven’t got any of the things that are in that tent.

“So they sort of took pity on me, and sent me a whole load of kit, and I spent Sunday afternoon practising.

“I spent possibly the most miserable Sunday afternoon I have ever had in the kitchen with my daughter, who’s equally remedial.

“She’s 30, and she literally can’t cut an onion.

“So the two of us just started bitching at each other, fell out, she went to bed for an hour with a stress headache, and it ended in disaster.”

Eclair said she never learnt to bake as a child because she was banished from the kitchen by her mother because she would fight with her sister.

She said: “So she used to go in there and shut the door.

“Then I had cookery at school, and I was really, really disinterested.

“And then I became anorexic when I was at drama school, so I didn’t cook or eat for about 10 years.

“And then I was a stand-up comic, and I had a house without a cooker in it for many years, because there wasn’t much point.

“I was never home to cook, and most things can be done on a hob.

“So it was only when I decided to host my entire family for Christmas lunch that I got a cooker, when I realised you couldn’t microwave a turkey.

“That was about 20 years ago. I used it about four times.”

Asked if she has ever had a disaster in the kitchen, she said: “I have never had the opportunity to have a disaster.

“Apart from yesterday’s dummy run, which was depressing and exhausting.

“I was in bed at half past nine.”

However, she admitted she is still competitive, saying: “I am hugely competitive without any skills, which is the worst thing you can be.

“It’s a very bad combination, because you want to win, even though you know you can’t.”

The Great Celebrity Bake Off For Stand Up To Cancer starts on Channel 4 at 8pm on March 10.

You can donate at

channel4.com/su2c

or sign up to fundraise at standuptocancer.org.uk – 100% of donations go to Cancer Research UK in support of the Stand Up To Cancer campaign.

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