After losing a leg four years ago, Marc Elliott found solace baking bread before venturing into cakes and pastries. And now the 51-year-old is competing on The Great British Bake Off Series 11 and wowing judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith with his carbohydrate creations. So, how did this journey start? What happened to Marc’s leg? Read on for the details…
What happened to Marc's leg? The 'GBBO' contestant lost it in an accident.
Marc lost his leg in a motorcycle accident in 2016, and he started baking bread as a form of therapy, the GBBO website reveals. Following the accident, a crowdfunding campaign on JustGiving raised £5,470 for Marc’s recovery, more than five times the campaign’s fundraising goal.
“You all probably know the tragedy what happened with Marc,” the campaign organizer, Irina Elliott, wrote at the time. “He had a motorcycle accident and lost his leg. He has got a brave soul but lying in a bed in hospital in pain and discomfort waiting for some more operations for his pelvis and leg. At these hot days he stuck in one position and can’t really move.
“He keeps brave face and spirit but worries and blame are eating his heart,” Irina added. “[He] was breadwinner for his family: his two girls, the mortgage, bills occupied his thoughts. I thought we could [a] little bit ease his pain — together! I know Marc will never ask himself but will [appreciate] the help very much.”
An Englishman born and raised in Leicester but living in Cornwall, Marc is a man of many talents: In addition to his baking, he’s a support worker, a bronze resin sculptor, a mountain climber, a landscape photographer, and a single parent. According to The Sun, Marc joined The Great British Bake Off to show his daughters that they can achieve whatever they set their mind to, obstacles be damned.
“I was incredibly excited, happy and very, very nervous,” Marc said of joining the competition. “Being surrounded by eleven other great people, all in the competition with me, and I just remember feeling the very positive and exciting energy in the tent. … I was really looking forward to standing behind the iconic benches, meeting the judges and of course [hosts] Noel [Fielding] and Matt [Lucas].”
Who else is in the ‘GBBO’ Series 11 cast?
Marc has been impressing the judges in recent episodes, earning high marks in Episode 2 and the Star Baker honor in Episode 3. “From palmiers and chausson aux pommes to opera cakes and millefeuille, his bakes now show true finesse,” the GBBO site adds. (Fans can also recreate Marc’s Dharma Wheel bread from Season 3 with a recipe on the website.)
The Great British Bake Off airs in the United Kingdom on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on Channel 4. Netflix is streaming Series 11 as The Great British Baking Show Collection 8, adding each episode three days after its U.K. air date.