Great British Bake Off star Dawn Hollyoak dies aged 61 as Paul Hollywood leads tributes

Virgin Radio

6 Jul 2024, 13:12

Dawn Hollyoak, Dawn on The Great British Bake Off

Credit: Instagram (@thebakerdawn) / Channel 4

The Great British Bake Off stars have paid tribute to 2022 baker Dawn Hollyoak, who has passed away aged 61. 

The sad news was confirmed by her Instagram account on Friday (5th July), alongside a photo of Dawn in a kitchen. The caption read: “It’s with a heavy heart we announce the passing of our star baker Dawn.”

“Not only a wonderfully talented baker but first and foremost an amazing mother, grandmother, wife and friend.”

The caption continued: “Dawn passed away peacefully surrounded by her family. We will miss her forever, but promise to continue her baking legacy!”

Dawn’s Bake Off co-stars paid tribute in the comments, with judge Paul Hollywood leading tributes, writing: “I’m so sorry to hear that, send my love to the family a lovely lady x.”

Fellow series 13 contestant Carole Edwards commented: “I will miss my friend terribly, a beautiful and talented lady inside and out, fly high my friend, life just won’t be the same without you. Sending all my love to the family. Xx”

GBBO 2021 winner Giuseppe Dell’Anno shared: “This is devastating news… I only met Dawn once, but I was blown away by her joyous personality and her infectious smile. She will be sorely missed, but will live in the heart of those who loved her forever!”

2021 baker George Aristidou added: We never did get to make them koupes Dawn…Absolutely gutted to hear this very sad news. RIP and my condolences to all your family and friends x.”

Dawn was originally an IT Manager before her stint in Bake Off. Her Instagram bio describes her as “designer and maker of couture cakes,” while also running baking classes. 

She won over Bake Off fans throughout the series, and was the sixth baker to be eliminated during Halloween week. 2022’s series was eventually won by Syabira Yusoff, with Abdul Rehman Sharif and Sandro Farmhouse as runners-up. 

Dawn penned a letter to fans after her departure from the series, admitting at the time that she’d applied 10 times to be on the Channel 4 competition. 

The Bedfordshire local wrote: “Well, it’s finally time to say goodbye to the tent after the adventure of a lifetime. 10 applications fan then finally I got the call I’d dreamt about. I arrived at the tent feeling a bit scared (terrified).

“Everyone knew who I was, really strange, I’m just Dawn, Mrs Ordinary Mum/Granny! What a great time (that no one ever sees) so welcoming and wonderful. They even check how you take your coffee before you arrive.”

The thoughts of everyone at Virgin Radio go out to Dawn’s friends and family.