Bake Off stars pay tribute following death of former contestant Dawn Hollyoak

Great British Bake Off stars are among those who have paid tribute to “joyous” and “talented” former contestant Dawn Hollyoak following her death.

The baker competed on the Channel 4 show in 2022, becoming the sixth contestant to leave the tent after the group was tasked with making Halloween-themed treats.

The news was announced on her Instagram with a message saying: “It’s with a heavy heart we announce the passing of our star baker Dawn.

“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!”

Alongside the announcement was a photo of Ms Hollyoak smiling in a kitchen while holding a cup of tea.

Judge Paul Hollywood was among those to share his condolences, writing: “I’m so sorry to hear that, send my love to the family, a lovely lady x”

Carole Edwards, who competed on the same season as Ms Hollyoak, said she would miss her friend “terribly”.

She added: “A beautiful and talented lady inside and out, fly high my friend, life just won’t be the same without you.

“Sending all my love to the family. Xx”

Other amateur bakers who competed on her season also paid tribute, including Maxy Maligisa, who said: “Dawn will be missed so much. Our memories together are memories that I will cherish forever xx,” while Janusz Domagala wrote: “All my love is with you.”

Giuseppe Dell’Anno, winner in 2021, described the news as “devastating” as he recalled being “blown away by her joyous personality and her infectious smile” when he met her.

“She will be sorely missed, but will live in the heart of those who loved her forever!” he added.

Mother-of-three Ms Hollyoak competed on the show aged 60 and she described herself as an “artist in and out of the kitchen”, according to the GBBO website.

“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,” it says on her profile on the site.

“She prides herself on her steady hand and attention to detail, especially when it comes to the intricacy required for lace patterns on biscuits.”

Following her departure from the show, she said: “I really don’t want to share tears over it because it’s been the most amazing experience.”