Actresses Emma Thompson and her sister Sophie have broken a court injunction to film a pastiche episode of The Great British Bake Off on a potential fracking site to voice their opposition to the plans.
The sisters are taking part in a Frack Free Bake Off – complete with white marquee, vintage utensils and bunting – on a site leased by energy firm Cuadrilla.
Protesters are banned from the site, near Preston, after the company applied for an injunction in 2014.
Emma (right) and sister Sophie Thompson at a potential fracking site near Preston (John Cobb/Greenpeace/PA Images)
The sisters will bake energy-themed cakes in a bespoke kitchen built by Greenpeace volunteers and powered by wood and solar panels, with Emma whipping up a wind turbine cake and Sophie baking a solar lemon cake.
Two-time Oscar winner Emma told the Press Association: “My sister has won Celebrity MasterChef and is viciously competitive. She might have planned to do away with me while we are doing this.
“I have a feeling she’s been up all night practising and I haven’t been because I’m lazy.”
She added she does not fancy her chances in the competition, saying: “I’m not a good baker, I don’t have a great deal of skill so I’m fairly sure it won’t go in my favour, but we are all winning because we are protesting these fracking plans.”
Police talk to Emma Thompson at the potential fracking site (John Cobb/Greenpeace/PA Images)
She continued: “I’ve been aware of this issue for a while with my work with Greenpeace and it came to head for me when David Cameron went to the Paris Climate Conference and signed on to the protocol and then on the sly at Christmas, when nobody was looking, gave the nod to 200 fracking sites in Britain. It proved to me our Government is saying one thing and doing the opposite.”
The sisters’ efforts will be judged by cake shop owner Kate Styles, from near Blackpool.
The local community will be able to taste the cakes at a tea party after filming and people can cast their votes on Twitter to persuade the judge to pick their favourite.
Kate said: “We are angry that we won’t get the final say over whether there is fracking in our community or not.
“Local residents and their councillors have played by the rules of our planning and democratic process in rejecting Cuadrilla’s drilling plan. The Government didn’t like the outcome and appointed itself as the ultimate judge.
Emma Thompson (Ian West/PA Wire)
“It doesn’t seem right that the only decision we will get to make is which is the best cake made on the site where Cuadrilla want to frack. But we are thrilled that Emma and Sophie Thompson have come here to support us.”
Cuadrilla’s application to drill on the site was rejected by Lancashire County Council last year amid strong public opposition and was appealed by the company.
Communities and Local Government Secretary Greg Clark has announced he will have the final say on the application, with his decision expected in the coming months.
Emma once helped volunteer puppeteers move Aurora, the double decker bus sized polar bear (Anthony Devlin/PA)
Former EastEnders star Sophie said: “There’s nothing like food to bring people together, and nothing like fracking to pull them apart. For years, to oppose fracking this community has played by the rules of our democracy.
“Yet the Government has rigged the competition undemocratically to favour the fracking industry. If our Government energy policy were a cake, it would probably be a crossover between a crumble and an Eton mess.”
The full episode of Frack Free Bake Off will be released on April 28 at 12pm.
Watch the Thompson sisters prepare for their Frack Free protest: