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The Theatrical Pasts of This Year's Great British Baking Show Contestants

Meet three of Britain's best amateur bakers, and find out about their associations with the stage.

Sweeney Todd, Waitress...baking and the stage have had a lengthy and lucrative relationship.

So we're thrilled that The Great British Baking Show has returned to Netflix, at a time when we need the amuse-bouche of quaint British boulangerie the most. In addition to the whimsical banter from hosts Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas and judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood, several of this season's contestants have a background on or around the stage.

Laura Adlington
(© Immediate Media/Channel 4)

First of all, there's digital manager Laura Adlington. When not volunteering for the Samaritans, Laura is a self-professed "musical theatre geek." According to her (admittedly baking heavy) Instagram, she is a frequent theatergoer, seeing the West End productions of Wicked, Dear Evan Hansen, and, of course, Waitress. Her version of Freddie Mercury's head may be somewhat unorthodox, but she's got good taste.

Lottie Bedlow
(© Immediate Media/Channel 4)

Secondly there's Lottie Bedlow, who (spoilers!) earned a special handshake from Paul Hollywood last week after her impressive florentines. While she may be a master crafter of baked goods, she's also a fine theater creator, currently working as a production coordinator for Anton Benson Productions and its yearly holiday pantomimes.

Before overseeing the 2018 and 2019 pantos, Bedlow worked as a production coordinator at North London's Hampstead Theatre, and before that, was an administrative assistant for veteran producer Bill Kenwright. Whether or not Bedlow will remain in the theater profession after the series or be snatched up by the baking community, only thyme will tell.

Rowan Williams
(© Immediate Media/Channel 4)

And how can we forget about Worcestershire-based music teacher Rowan Williams? Entirely self-taught, Williams describes his baking style as "ostentatious," as evidenced by his shockingly realistic cake bust of Marie Antoinette. But he is also a major theater and opera lover, as evidenced by his technical Battenberg, themed around Mozart's The Magic Flute. The prestigious Glyndebourne opera loved it so much that they publicly offered him tickets to their planned fall production.

Finally, there's new host Matt Lucas, a West End vet who originated the role of Leigh Bowery in Taboo and has a long history of playing Thénardier in of Les Misérables. Here he is singing "Master of the House."

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