Bake Off contestant Lizzie praised for celebrating neurodiversity with her showstopper

Virgin Radio

11 Nov 2021, 11:38

Credit: Channel 4

Credit: Channel 4

The current series of The Great British Bake Off has been absolutely cracking so far, and this week’s episode was extra special, as one the contestants produced a stunning showstopper that celebrated neurodiversity. 

On Tuesday’s show, Lizzie Acker was sadly voted out of the competition by Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith, in what they admitted was a very difficult decision, but her final creation before leaving was one which left the judges and viewers at home stunned.

Telling Paul and Prue about her brightly coloured cake, she said: “I’m celebrating being different. It’s going to be a representation of my brain, because I’ve got quite a few SEN issues. SEN is special educational needs, dyslexic, dyspraxic, ADHD, and concentration disorder.

“So I think, like, people who are slightly different need to be celebrated and represented.”

Lizzie continued: “Some people think, like, ADHD, you’re going to be crazy, you know. Loads of energy, but loads of the time it’s like you’ve got too many thoughts in your head and you don’t actually know what to think about. So it’s all about colour and brain fuzz.”

As reported by Metro, several charities have praised the talented baker. Dr Tony Lloyd, the CEO of the ADHD Foundation, said: “There are a lot of children and there are a lot of adults who as children went through school being told or defined by what they couldn’t do, being told that they weren’t very intelligent or they weren’t very bright or they were choosing not to learn because they couldn’t concentrate on demand, and a lot of those children and a lot of those adults who’ve grown up through that system have experienced a lot of anxiety and their self-esteem and their self-confidence in their ability and their employability will have taken a real knock.”

Dr Lloyd added: “You see somebody like Lizzie who will have experienced a lot of those same difficulties, actually speaking really openly and proudly about the fact that ‘I might have a brain that works differently, but that doesn’t mean to say that I’m not talented or intelligent, and this is how I express it for me, it’s through baking.’”

Sophie Kayani, chair of the Dyspraxia Foundation, said: “Not everybody always wants to disclose and hats off to anybody that does want to disclose their neurodiversity. Her story will help thousands of people I’m sure.’

Commenters on Twitter were also full of praise for Lizzie. One wrote: “Thank you Lizzie, when you explained what being in your brain is like, my ADHD son smiled and said that's exactly how his is too. You've been fab and I'm sad you won't be on my telly next week.”

Another person wrote: “Her description of what it’s like to be neurodiverse was perfect. It’s wonderful to see more women speaking out about their experiences. Most of us went through childhood and most/all of adulthood feeling useless, lazy, too much, not good enough.”

Someone else said: “Loved Lizzies cake and I think she is amazing. Courageous and talented.”

Meanwhile, other bakers were quick to express their affection for Lizzie as well. Freya Cox, who was eliminated a couple of weeks previously, said on Instagram: “Lizzie makes life a better place for everyone, whether it’s a bad day or good. I feel so inspired by her ability to be herself no matter what. I practically live in her house now and feel like part of her family… I mean it doesn’t get much more committed than matching tattoos. I feel blessed everyday to be your friend.”

The Great British Bake Off returns with the semi-final next Tuesday at 8pm on Channel 4.