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Matt on The Great British Bake Off with contestant Dawn as she bakes© Channel 4 / Love Productions

Bake-Off star dies – see tributes to 'wonderfully talented baker'

Paul Hollywood has paid tribute

Millie Jackson
Freelance Writer
July 6, 2024
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Former Great British Bake-Off contestant Dawn Hollyoak has died aged 61. 

Her family announced the sad news via Instagram, sharing a smiling photo of Dawn at home in the kitchen. 

The family shared a personal photo to announce the news© Instagram
The family shared a personal photo to announce the news

"It’s with a heavy heart we announce the passing of our star baker Dawn," they wrote. "Not only a wonderfully talented baker but first and foremost an amazing mother, grandmother, wife and friend. Dawn passed away peacefully surrounded by her family. We will miss her forever, but promise to continue her baking legacy!" 

The former IT manager competed on the programme in 2022 and won the nation's hearts with her bakes. She left the competition in week six, describing it as "the most amazing experience". 

The Great British Bake Off website wrote of the star: "Dawn loves the challenge of an illusion cake (the more impossible-sounding, the better), favouring whacky and intricate designs that allow her to express her creative talent. She prides herself on her steady hand and attention to detail, especially when it comes to the intricacy required for lace patterns on biscuits." 

Dawn's favourite flavours were lemon and salted caramel© Channel 4
Dawn's favourite flavours were lemon and salted caramel

 Bake-Off judge Paul Hollywood led the tributes. "I’m so sorry to hear that, send my love to the family. A lovely lady" he commented. 

Former Bake-Off contestants have also been quick to send in their tributes. 2016 winner Candice Brown wrote "Sending so much love", followed by red hearts.  

George Aristidou from the 2021 series wrote: "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." 

Maxy and Dawn both had Hollywood handshakes© Channel 4
Maxy and Dawn both had Hollywood handshakes

Fellow 2022 contestant Carole Edwards shared a montage of her favourite photos with Dawn, captioning the heartwarming video: "This is my tribute to @thebakerdawn, my dear friend, and my cake guru, always there to help and listen." 

She touchingly continuted: "Never to be forgotten, the journey on GBBO brought us together, fly high my darling, the angels won’t be short of a bake or two now." 

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