Bake Off explains why Alison Hammond missed this week's episode

alison hammond, the great british bake off
Bake Off explains Alison Hammond's absenceChannel 4

The Great British Bake Off was missing Alison Hammond this week.

Hammond only joined the Channel 4 programme this series, replacing Matt Lucas as Noel Fielding's presenting partner. Unfortunately, illness kept her away from the tent when this year's semi-final was recorded.

Speaking to the four remaining contestants alongside judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood, Fielding explained: "Hello bakers, welcome back to the tent. Unfortunately today Alison's a little bit poorly and she won't be joining us, but she will be back soon.

"Now the good news is you've all made it to the semi-final. The bad news is it's Patisserie Week..."

alison hammond, the great british bake off
Channel 4

Related: Bake Off's Noel Fielding reveals difficulty of working with Matt Lucas

This was pre-announced on the official Bake Off X account, too, with a statement advising viewers: "Sadly Alison was unwell and not able to take part in the filming of the Semi Final - but we can assure you she shall return for the Bake Off Final!"

What happened during Patisserie Week? Semi-finalists Josh, Dan, Matty and Tasha were tasked with delivering a batch of classic French financiers in the Signature challenge.

Then came a tricky Technical: a French apple tart (or tarte aux pommes) of short pastry, lined with an almond, frangipane and apple purée.

bake off party week 2023 tasha
mark bourdillon - Channel 4

Related: This Morning's Alison Hammond makes "emotional" admission about co-star

A celebration cake of Italian origin known as a Millefoglie was the Showstopper.

Tasha, who struggled in both the Technical and Showstopper rounds, was eliminated from the competition.

Writing on social media afterwards, Tasha described Bake Off as both "the scariest thing" she'd ever done and "the best thing that has ever happened to me".

The Great British Bake Off and its spin-off Bake Off: An Extra Slice both air on Channel 4 in the UK. In the US, it's known as The Great British Baking Show, and streams on Netflix.

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