Belfast Telegraph

Derry Girls special of The Great British Bake Off crowns winner

The cast of the hit comedy caused mayhem in the tent, with several cake disasters.

Contestants (from left) Siobhan, Saoirse, Dylan, Nicola and Jamie-Lee (Channel 4/PA)
Contestants (from left) Siobhan, Saoirse, Dylan, Nicola and Jamie-Lee (Channel 4/PA)

By Laura Harding, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Derry Girls star Saoirse-Monica Jackson has defeated her co-stars in a special festive edition of The Great British Bake Off.

The actress was joined by castmates Nicola Coughlan, Jamie-Lee O’Donnell, Dylan Llewellyn and Siobhan McSweeney for a New Year instalment of the show.

Host Sandi Toksvig jokingly branded them “five of the most troublesome people we have ever had in the tent”.

She added: “I don’t think we have ever had more fun.”

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The group caused chaos in the tent (Love Productions/Channel 4)

The TV stars attempted to impress judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood with an alcohol-laced sharing trifle for their signature challenge.

A few of them tucked into booze as they whipped up sponges, jelly and custard.

Jackson, who had never made a cake before taking part in the show, triumphed after winning the duo over with her Irish cream trifle, decorated with green sugar shamrocks, and her 1960s-inspired showstopper cake.

She also impressed during the technical challenge, when the contestants were tasked with making salmon and beetroot blinis.

After she was announced as the victor she said: “I’m stunned. I can’t believe I won, I’m delighted.”

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Saoirse-Monica Jackson ended up triumphing (Love Productions/Channel 4)

Hollywood praised Jackson for being the “most consistent over the three challenges, adding: “For someone who has never baked before coming into the tent, to do what she has done, fantastic job.”

Leith added: “I’ve always said if you can read you can bake, and the Derry Girls proved that today.”

The group did struggle with a number of their efforts and Leith told Llewellyn the layers of his Bakewell trifle were “a bit casual”, while Jackson’s was branded “a bit messy and smeary”.

Hollywood told McSweeney her trifle was “all over the place, it looks like an aquarium”, while Leith added: “It does look like slime.”

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Siobhan struggled with the challenge (Love Productions/Channel 4)

O’Donnell was told her showstopper cake, shaped like the plane Amelia Earhart landed in Derry in the 1930s, was “as tough as old boots” after she mixed up the table spoon and the teaspoon while measuring out the baking powder.

Meanwhile, Coughlan’s bowler hat cake inspired by 1930s Berlin and the film Cabaret was branded “quite musty” and Llewellyn was told his 1960s camper van lemon cake was “nearly inedible”.

McSweeney made a chocolate raspberry cake in memory of her family camping trips to Cork in the 1980s, which she said looked “so weird”.

After the final challenge Coughlan said: “I am a broken woman.”

Jackson said: “I don’t think it could have gone any worse.”

McSweeney joked: “I’ve basically ruined the memory of my mother and father, I might not go back in.”

Llewellyn said: “I feel it’s made us closer, baking together. I think we should bake together more.”

PA

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