Michelle Keegan has been named star baker in the second episode of The Great Celebrity Bake Off, describing the win as “one of the proudest moments of my life”.
The actress, 31, “slam dunked” all three challenges, according to judge Paul Hollywood, during the special episode in aid of the charity Stand Up To Cancer.
Alongside comic James Acaster, television host Rylan Clark-Neal and actor Russell Tovey, the Stockport-born former Coronation Street star faced signature, technical and showstopper challenges.
Celebrating her narrow win over Clark-Neal, Keegan described herself as “absolutely over the moon”.
She said: “Really big achievement. Probably one of the proudest moments of my life.”
Co-judge Prue Leith said of her: “She hasn’t put a foot wrong. Everything has tasted right, looked fantastic. She’s a pro.”
Acaster, who played the fool throughout, was indignant after a series of poorly-received bakes.
“What a crock of nonsense”, he said. “They don’t recognise a true talent when the see one.”
For the signature challenge, the celebrity contestants were asked to bake 12 identical topped flapjacks.
Tovey’s chocolate brownie flapjacks impressed, with Hollywood labelling them “genius”.
Acaster’s cherry bakewell flapjacks were less successful, crumbling when cut.
Describing his creative process to Hollywood, Acaster said: “Started making it, had a breakdown, bon appetit.”
In an especially tough technical challenge, the group were tasked with crafting six cream horns. The pastry, made with flaky or puff pastry and whipped cream, is famously difficult to make.
As the group worked, presenters Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding chased one another around the baking stations as Toksvig wielded a marshmallow-launching toy gun.
Keegan was named winner of the technical challenge despite never having made pastry before.
In the showstopper challenge, the group made meringue scenes of their “happy place” with varying degrees of success.
Tovey’s pistachio and vanilla-flavoured vista aimed to replicate a camping trip to Whitstable in Kent.
Keegan crafted a ski run complete with coconut buttercream hills and desiccated coconut slopes to remind her of a holiday in France.
Clark-Neal’s creation replicated a cove he visited while on holiday in Ibiza while Acaster embarked on a version of Wicksteed Park, a theme park near his hometown of Kettering, Northamptonshire.
Once again Keegan and Clark-Neal came out on top, with Hollywood describing the former’s coconut creation as “faultless”.
Acaster’s effort was least popular, although Hollywood did praise his decision to cover the meringue log flume with salt “for a laugh”.
The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up To Cancer continues on Channel 4.