Great British Bake Off star dies as Paul Hollywood leads tributes

Dawn Hollyoak, beloved contestant from the hit BBC series Great British Bake Off, has died at the age of 61.

The former IT manager captured hearts as the sixth baker to exit the 2022 series, leaving a lasting impression on viewers. Her family announced her passing with an emotional post on her Instagram page.

Their message read: "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."

While the cause of her death has not been disclosed, according to the Mirror, tributes have poured in, including from renowned Wallasey chef and judge Paul Hollywood, who commented on the Instagram tribute: "I'm so sorry to hear that, send my love to the family a lovely lady x."

Fellow Bake Off competitor Carole Edwards, who departed the show just one week prior to Dawn, shared her deep sorrow online, stating: "I will miss my friend terribly, 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.", reports the Liverpool Echo.

George Aristidou, an ex-contestant from the 2021 season, commented: "We never did get to make them koupes Dawn... Absolutely gutted to hear this very sad news. RIP and my condolences to all your family and friends x."

The champion of Bake Off 2021, Giuseppe Dell'Anno, communicated his sorrow: "This is devastating news... I only met Dawn once, but I was blown away by her joyous personality and her infectious smile. She will be sorely missed, but will live in the heart of those who loved her forever! ".

Syabira Yusoff secured victory in the 13th series of the Great British Bake Off, which also featured Abdul Rehman Sharif and Sandro Farmhouse as finalists.