On TV shows like Emma Willis: Delivering Babies and The Voice UK we see presenter Emma Wills as a wholesome family friendly star. But filming The Great Celebrity Bake Off For Stand Up To Cancer, mum-of-three Emma fears that she and husband Matt Willis might get a rather racy reputation.
Back in 2020 Emma posted on her Instagram that when she tasked Matt with making a pie while she did art activities with their children Isabelle, Ace and Trixie, he created a dish with a pastry willy on top!
And when Emma recently filmed the charity celebrity version of Bake Off, she admits that one of her own creations looked a little bit X-rated.
Remembering Matt’s saucy dish, Emma laughed: “I think it might have had a willy on it. And the thing is, I’ve just made something that, accidentally, looks really phallic. We’re going to look like those kids at school that are constantly drawing willies on their books.”
But rude food aside, Emma, 45, admitted that she was a bag of nerves going into the fabled tent, after her practice runs at home didn’t go to plan.
“I kind of dabble with my kids and make cupcakes. I can do a sponge, but that’s my limit,” Emma revealed. “A big sponge, whack a bit of cream and jam in it, put some icing sugar on the top to make it look pretty, but that’s the extent of my baking skills.”
And when she attempted to make one of the challenges she would face in the tent, Emma was definitely out of her comfort zone.
She said: “I tried to make something, and it absolutely just flopped and didn’t work, it was absolutely terrible. So I’m dreading having to do it, because it was a bloody disaster!”
Having co-presented Cooking With The Stars with Tom Allen, who also took part in The Great Celebrity Bake Off for SUTC, Emma naturally turned to her friend for advice.
Emma recalled: “I did mention to him that I was doing it, and he just went ‘Oh, just enjoy it, have the best time.’ And I said ‘I know, but I don’t want to be c**p.’ And he said ‘Yes you do, that’s part of the fun of it.’ So I decided I don’t need to take it that seriously.
“I’m just coming for the experience and being in one of my favourite shows. Standing in that tent is really overwhelming, when you see it and walk into it, you suddenly realise how much you shouldn’t be there, because you’re not good enough.”
And Emma said that being a fan of the show made her really want to pull off the culinary challenges.
“I absolutely love it. All five of us watch it. It’s just perfect telly for a weeknight. The only thing is, it makes you hungry, so you watch it, it finishes, and you go to the fridge and think ‘Right, what have I got that’s sweet’. But it’s great, Paul and Prue are absolutely brilliant, and I love Noel and Matt. There’s nothing to not like about it.”
Ahead of her time in the tent, Emma thought about what challenges she would find most daunting.
She said: “Bread, I think. Bread would be a shocker. Meringue would be pretty tricky. Some kind of pastry. All the things that are notoriously difficult. I’ve never made pastry, I’ve just bought it.”
And looking back at her time in lockdown, the star conceded that she’d missed out baking time that could have come in very handy for the show.
Mum Emma revealed: “I’ve had lots of time at home with the kids. And if ever we do bake, they always just want the same thing – cupcakes with icing on the top. A few weeks ago, I made them lemon drizzle cake for the first time – it’s one of my favourites – and that actually went surprisingly well.
"I always find that the first time I make something I luck out, and then when I try and replicate it, it absolutely falls on its face. I haven’t done much baking at all, and I wish I’d spent every week baking.”
However Emma really isn’t expecting to come away from the show having won her heat. And winning really isn’t the point she reckons.
“I am competitive in some things, but this is not my domain,” Emma said. “I’m just here to have fun and raise awareness, and hopefully some money for Stand Up to Cancer.
“And to experience one of the shows that I love watching. I absolutely am not here as someone who is an avid baker and really wants to win it. I’m just lucky I got my foot in the door, to be honest.”
The Great Celebrity Bake Off for SUTC starts on Tuesday 22nd March on C4 at 8pm
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