Tonight marks the Great British Bake Off Christmas special, with Bake Off: The Professionals host Tom Allen stepping in for Noel Fielding this year.
The comedian will be joining Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith and Matt Lucas to celebrate Christmas in the white tent, with the return of former contestants Jamie Finn and Rosie Brandreth-Poynter from 2019’s Bake Off, 2018 finalist Ruby Bhogal and 2017 contestant James Hillery battle it out for the coveted Christmas Star Baker title.
“I was thrilled to be asked to host with Matt Lucas,” the 37-year-old said in a statement. “Finally bald gay men are getting their chance on television.”
Allen also joked, during a previous instalment of Jonathan Ross’s ITV chat show, that working on Bake Off: The Professionals hasn’t been good for his waistline.
“I was eating cake so much I had to be cut out of a waistcoat,” he explained.
Alexandra Burke will be the show’s guest star, performing a magical version of Silent Night to get us in the festive spirit.
But if you’re wondering where Noel is and why Tom has stepped up to fill in during the festive special, read on for everything you need to know.
Why Noel Fielding is being replaced by Tom Allen for Great British Bake Off Christmas special
Mighty Boosh star Fielding was unable to make the Christmas special as he is on paternity leave following the birth of his second child. He became a father for the second time in October after his partner Lliana Bird welcomed their daughter.
Fielding fans will be pleased to hear that he will be back for The Great New Year Bake Off, which will feature the welcome return of Helena Garcia and Henry Bird from the 2019 series along with two winners from previous seasons. Nancy Birtwhistle, who won the 2014 Bake Off, and 2018’s Rahul Mandal complete the line-up. The four bakers will join the hosts and judges for a sing-along round the piano.
Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood will be judging both the Christmas and the New Year specials.
The Great British Bake Off crowned 20-year-old Peter Sawkins as champion, who became the youngest Bake Off winner since the series began and the first Scottish winner.
Fans can expect the return of Bake Off for a full series in September next year.