Sally Lindsay: ‘I’d never baked before The Great Celebrity Bake Off!’

Former Corrie star Sally Lindsay on the personal reason she wanted to take part in Bake Off's celebrity charity spin-off...

How Sally Lindsay went from zero to hero on The Great Celebrity Bake Off…

It’s time to pre-heat the oven, put the apron on and roll those sleeves up as a new crop of eager celebrities prepare to enter the Bake Off tent for another special edition of the show in aid of Channel 4’s Stand Up To Cancer.

This week’s first round sees outrageous funnyman Russell Brand, Hollywood star John Lithgow, comic Jon Richardson and Paralympian Hannah Cockroft going head to head under the watchful eyes of judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood.

Celeb Bake Off John Lithgow, Hannah Cockroft, Jon Richardson Russell Brand

The first episode of Celeb Bake Off features John Lithgow, Hannah Cockroft, Jon Richardson and Russell Brand

In the coming weeks, Still Open All Hours and former Coronation Street star Sally Lindsay will also be trying to avoid all manner of soggy bottoms as she too enters the tent.

And it sounds like baking novice Sally Lindsay, 45, might knead a little help…

Why did you want to take part?

Sally Lindsay: “I don’t think there’s anyone in the country that hasn’t got a personal reason to want to do something for cancer. It touches all our lives. My dad passed away from cancer last year, I’ve had friends who’ve had it and recovered and other friends who didn’t make it. I thought this would be an opportunity for me to do something that takes me out of my comfort zone for the right reasons.”

The Great Celebrity Bake Off Series 2 (SU2C)

Sally’s all smiles but admits she feels out of her comfort zone in the Bake Off tent

So how would you rate your baking skills?

SL: “I’d never baked anything before I got there! I’d only ever made Rice Krispie cakes, but that doesn’t count, does it? Before that, the last time I can remember putting a spoon in mixing bowl of flour, I was about seven years old, baking with my gran. It was massively daunting walking into the tent because it’s so iconic. When I turned up, the producers asked: ‘What are your ideas, what do you usually do?’ And I’m thinking: ‘What!?’ I was like a proper fish out of water! I was literally sweating for two days. It’s the hardest gig I’ve ever done.”

In your heat are comedian Joe Wilkinson, reality star Georgia Toffolo and broadcaster Jeremy Paxman. How competitive are you?

SL: “I’m not competitive at all! Even as an actress, if I go up for auditions and a mate gets the part I’m like: ‘That’s brilliant, well done!’ Everybody likes to win because it’s a nice feeling but it’s not the be all and end all for me. The four of us got on really well. When we all got told off we were laughing, even Paxman!”

What was it like having your bakes judged by Paul and Prue?

SL: “That’s when it suddenly became very real. You’re being judged on something you don’t normally do, so you do get quite defensive of what you’ve baked, even if it’s rubbish. But I think to go from never baking to the finished result wasn’t half bad. I was actually quite chuffed with it.”

The Great British Bake Off Sandi Noel Paul and Prue

Bake Off hosts Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding with judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith

Did any of your celebrity friends give you any tips about doing the show?

“I did ring Alan Carr from the Bake Off dressing room and he said: ‘I was just as petrified as you, just go with it, it’s hilarious, you’ll have a right laugh’. And he was right, I did!”

Finally, if you were to bake something for TV Times, what would it be?

“Well now, between you and me, I’m actually a good baker believe it or not. This is what I discovered about myself. So if TV Times ever called on me and said: ‘Sally, all the bakers in the world have got flu and we need a massive TV Times celebration cake, could you whip one up?’ I’d be there. I could do it!”

The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up To Cancer starts Tuesday at 8pm on Channel 4.