Winner crowned during Bake Off Christmas special with It’s A Sin cast

The episode saw judge Paul Hollywood hand out two of his coveted handshakes.
The episode saw judge Paul Hollywood hand out two of his coveted handshakes.

Nathaniel Curtis has been named winner of the Great British Bake Off Christmas special, as the stars of hit Channel 4 drama It’s A Sin competed for the title.

The actor faced co-stars Olly Alexander, Lydia West and Shaun Dooley in the show’s famous tent as they took on a series of festive-themed challenges.

After being announced as the winner, he said: “It’s a Christmas miracle.

“I can’t imagine doing this with better people. They are some of my favourite people in the world.

“I never expected to do Bake Off. Having these people there, it has just been the most incredible way to end the year.”

Alexander, who was his closest competitor, added: “I am not the star baker. I knew Nathaniel would get it. I just knew it.”

As the episode began, Alexander, who is also frontman of chart-topping pop band Years & Years, quipped: “My plan is to flirt my way to star baker. I am going to flirt with them all.”

The signature round saw the celebrities tasked with making a Christmas dinner leftovers pie featuring any pastry and a filling of their choice.

Both Alexander and Curtis earned coveted handshakes from judge Paul Hollywood.

He said Alexander’s curried vegetable pie was “baked beautifully” and added: “It is flakey, it is buttery. Great flavour. The balancing of seasonings is perfect. It is a lovely pie.”

He told Curtis his turkey and pancetta pie with mustard seeds was “very clever” and looked like “perfection”.

West created a tom yum turkey pie featuring the word “La!” in reference to the catchphrase of It’s A Sin’s main characters.

Her bake fell victim to the dreaded soggy bottom but Hollywood still praised its flavour as “delicious”.

For the technical challenge, the contestants made chocolate yule logs from a light chocolate sponge wrapped around a whipped, boozy cream filling and finished with chocolate icing.

Starting the challenge, Curtis said: “I feel like the handshake was unexpected, it was lovely, but it now means more pressure, and I have to destroy Olly Alexander, with love.”

He came out top, narrowly beating Dooley to the number one spot, with West languishing in last place.

In the final showstopper round, the judges tasked the It’s A Sin cast with making a Christmas tree out of either biscuit, meringue or both in three hours.

Before getting started, the group shared a hug and wished each other good luck.

Dooley’s creation, which was topped with a meringue angel, collapsed as Hollywood cut into it, but still won praise from the judges for its taste, while Curtis and Alexander fared better.

It’s A Sin tells the story of a group of young friends living in London through the HIV/Aids crisis in the 1980s and its impact on the LGBT community.

Created and written by Queer As Folk’s Russell T Davies, it was lauded by critics and Channel 4 said it was its streaming service’s “most binged new series ever”.