'The Great Christmas Bake Off' 2021: line-up, judges, and everything we know

The Great Christmas Bake Off 2021 cast
(Image credit: Channel 4)

The Great Christmas Bake Off 2021 is coming to Channel 4 so we'll have plenty of festive bakes to look forward to as part of the Christmas TV schedule. This year, the series is reuniting the It's A Sin cast to take part in some seasonally-themed challenges.

Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood return as judges, with Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding back on hosting duties to get everyone into the festive spirit.

As well as this, there'll be a second Christmas special called The Great Festive Bake Off. In this special, we'll see four former bakers returning to the tent to go head to head in three seasonal challenges. Series nine bakers Kim-Joy and Jon and series 11's Hermine and Rowan will face three favourite festive challenges and find out who tops the tree as Star Baker!

Here's everything we know so far...

'The Great Christmas Bake Off' release date

The Great Christmas Bake Off will air on Christmas Day at 8pm on Channel 4. 

The second Christmas special called The Great Festive Bake Off will air over New Year. 

'The Great Christmas Bake Off' 2021 line-up

There's a great celebrity line-up for the Bake Off Christmas edition, and this isn't the first time they've teamed up! Regular C4 viewers will recognise our famous faces from Russell T. Davies' latest drama It's A Sin, where they'll be swapping the Pink Palace for the kitchen instead.

Let's meet them...

Olly Alexander

Olly Alexander

(Image credit: Debbie Hickey/Getty Images)

First up it's Olly Alexander, who fans of It's A Sin will know as Ritchie Tozer. The lead in the Russell T. Davies drama was Olly's first major acting role and received critical acclaim. Prior to this, he has starred in films such as Summerhill and The Riot Club.

Speaking about taking on the role of Ritchie, he told us: "I hadn’t planned on making more of a move into acting at all, but my agent told me about this project and I was immediately like, ‘yeah, I want to read that!’

"And as soon as I did I thought, ‘I want to be in it!’ I just feel very blessed that the stars aligned at the right time and that I was able to do it."

Lydia West

Lydia West

(Image credit: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Lydia West quickly became a fan favourite among It's A Sin viewers, where she played the role of Jill Baxter who befriends Ritchie and the gang amid the AIDS crisis. The character was based on a real life person, who was a friend of Russell T. Davies. She'll be entering the Bake Off tent over the festive season.

Shaun Dooley

Shaun Dooley

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Shaun Dooley plays Ritchie's father Clive, and the Tozers have a very complicated family relationship. Ritchie is scared to be honest about his sexuality with his parents and this causes complications further down the line. 

Taking to Twitter, Shaun wrote: "I had such a good time doing this! What a privilege to spend more time with #Lydiawest and whilst getting to know and BAKE!!!!"

Nathaniel Curtis

Nathaniel Curtis

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Nathaniel Curtis plays Ash Mukherjee in It's A Sin, who has a relationship with Ritchie in the series. He's a central character in the series and Nathaniel described the role to The Queer Review by saying: "Ash is very interesting to play because he doesn’t say an awful lot, but he’s always there. What’s really lovely about him is that he’s always strong, steady, and reliable".

Nathaniel has shared his thoughts on Bake Off, joking: "It's beginning to look a lot like... me screaming at an oven at Christmas".

Is there a trailer?

Not yet — watch this space!

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Now she works for our sister site TechRadar in the same role. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress