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Why was Noel Fielding missing from The Great British Bake Off Christmas special?

The GBBO presenter had a very good reason for missing the show

Jenni McKnight

Noel Fielding has been replaced on the Christmas special of the Great British Bake Off – but thankfully, it's not permanent.

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The TV presenter will not be joining Matt Lucas, Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith in the baking tent this festive season, with Extra Slice presenter Tom Allen temporarily filling the role.

This year’s special will see former contestants James Hillery from the 2017 series, Ruby Bhogal, from the 2018 series, and Rosie Brandreth-Poynter and Jamie Finn from the 2019 series go head to head for the Christmas Star Baker title.

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Noel's absence is due to him being on paternity leave at the time of filming, according to a GBBO spokesperson.

Noel and his partner Lliana Bird welcomed their second child in October. Radio presenter Lliana broke the news using homemade Halloween decorations.

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Taking to Instagram, the star posted a photo of four spiders made out of pipe cleaners and different coloured microphone covers that sat on a table in the family's North London home.

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Noel will be temporarily replaced by Tom Allen

She captioned the picture: "The Bird Fielding family of [spider emoji] x x (finally figured out what to do with all my old mic covers!) #halloweencrafts."

When one of her followers asked: "Really dumb question but who is who?" Lliana responded: "Noel is pink, Dali is orange, I’m grey and Iggy is red [heart emojis]."

It was the first public confirmation of the couple's second baby since they announced that Lliana was pregnant in the summer. Lliana announced she was expecting and would be going on maternity leave, but the low-key mum didn't announce her due date.

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Noel and Lliana share two children

Iggy is a second daughter for the 39-year-old and comedian Noel, who have been together since 2010. Their oldest child Dali was born in 2018.

The protective parents have never shared pictures of the little girl on social media, so the sweet spiders might be as close as fans get to getting a peek at little Iggy for a while!  

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