INTERVIEW: The Great British Bake Off's Marc Elliott: Climber, Amputee and Star Baker

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 UKC Articles 29 Dec 2020
Marc Elliott's GBBO portrait.

The Great British Bake Off quarter-finalist Marc Elliott is not only a mean baker, but a keen climber and a UKC user. Following his appearance on the hit Channel 4 series, we managed to join the GBBO media buzz and chat to him about climbing, baking, obsession, mental health and *that* David Bowie cake that didn't quite make the cut...

If you go looking for them, there are obvious parallels between The Great British Bake Off challenges and climbing: in the Signature Challenge, a tried-and-tested classic bake that you've done over and over again, like a favourite route, is repeated for the judges. In the trickier Technical Challenge, an 'onsight' attempt at a more esoteric bake is made, following a frustratingly vague recipe akin to a poorly-written guidebook description. Finally, in the Showstopper Challenge, weeks of preparation and practise culminate in a dicey redpoint of a complex creation with multiple cruxes. Who will over-egg the pudding and fall flat - or worse, who will crumble and end up with the dreaded soggy bottom?

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 ali k 29 Dec 2020

What a lovely bloke. Came across so well in the series.

In reply to ali k:

He was quite nice when he was a youth as well, although we did wonder if he was going to come a cropper when he started out - some poor gear placements and boundless"go for it" enthusiasm.

The closest thing NLMC had to Andy Pollitt 😁

 steveriley 03 Jan 2021
In reply to UKC Articles:

We’ve not knowingly met, but biggest tick last year in my kids’ eyes was an Instagram like from ‘Marco from  Bake Off’. What he’s done on and off the crag is ace. Funnily enough I know another unidexter climber that puts my own efforts to shame. He refuses to take the grade for a recent 8A tick because it’s a footless eliminate 😀

In reply to UKC Articles:

Both Natalie and I were extremely excited about this, but up until now I hadn't had a chance to read through his answers. I'm still jealous Natalie got to speak to him on the phone!!

Marc came across so well in GBBO, and this has made me like him even more.

 tomrainbow 04 Jan 2021
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

I spent a very happy few months climbing with Marc in Australia back in 1993, I particularly remember working and sending Mr Joshua with him which at the time was my hardest redpoint. Having Marc on the other end of the rope definitely added a grade or two to my performance.

Marc, if you're reading this, drop me a line, it would be great to meet up again once a things get to be a bit more 'normal'.

In reply to tomrainbow:

Amazing. Climbing really is zero degrees of separation isn't it?!

Mr Joshua too - what a route...

 tomrainbow 04 Jan 2021
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

I recall we were both hugely intimidated when we stood underneath it but Marc stepped up to the plate and pushed it out to the crux at which point he came down muttering that its runout nature was doing his head in! I then somehow made it to the lower off but I think without Marc being willing to grasp the nettle in the first place I would have walked away and found something much less impressive!

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