Bake Off contestant Lottie addresses plight of panto industry

Great British Bake Off contestant Lottie has said it is “tough” for her colleagues in the pantomime industry with many Christmas shows cancelled.

The 31-year-old pantomime producer, who was eliminated during this week’s 1980s-themed episode, said she would normally be working “flat-out” at this time of year.

Many festive shows have been postponed or axed entirely due to uncertainty around coronavirus restrictions, with some venues unable to reopen while social distancing remains in place.

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Appearing on spin-off An Extra Slice, Lottie said: “It’s very good fun when there is not a pandemic.

“I would be working flat-out normally and getting actors together and sorting out props and sets and scripts.

“It’s very good fun when there is work. It’s tough for theatre.”

She said friends and family had joked it was unlikely she was appearing on the Channel 4 show.

Lottie spent weeks filming inside the show’s “bubble” in Down Hall Hotel but was not allowed to tell anyone the real reason for her absence during lockdown.

The Great British Bake Off 2020
The Great British Bake Off 2020

She said: “It was really tricky saying to people, ‘I’m going away during lockdown and I can’t tell you where I am going and I can’t tell you how long for, but I will probably be back at some point.’

“It was kind of, ‘Is she going to prison?’ There were all kinds of conspiracy theories but I kept them guessing for a while, friends and family.”

Asked whether anyone had guessed she was competing on Bake Off, Lottie replied: “A couple of people but then they laughed so hysterically – ‘Obviously, not you’.”

Tuesday’s episode, which was filmed over the summer, saw hot weather conditions hamper Lottie as she tried to get an ice cream coating for her cake to set.

Judge Paul Hollywood was critical of her messy bake.

Lottie said: “It kills me to say it but Paul was right.”