Like a whole host of other TV shows and programmes, The Great British Sewing Bee enjoyed some special festive episodes of the competition this year.
However, as fans settled in to watch the New Year’s special, many were shocked to discover that comedian Joe Lycett was not hosting the show, as he has done since 2019.
Stepping into the hosting duties was Sara Pascoe - this is everything you need to know.
Who is Sara Pascoe?
Pascoe is an English comedian and writer, whom you may recognise from her appearances on shows like 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, QI and Taskmaster.
The 40-year-old was born in London, on 22 May 1981, and in 2007 first started performing stand up comedy in 2007.
In 2010, Pascoe performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with her show Sara Pascoe vs Her Ego and in 2012 appeared in Live at the Apollo. The following year she starred on the BBC panel show QI.
She toured the UK for the first time in 2014, after performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe again, with her shoe Sara Pascoe vs History. The show was nominated for the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Comedy Show.
That same year, Pascoe also appeared on Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Have I Got News for You and Stand Up to Cancer.
Other appearances across her career includes all three of Frankie Boyle’s Autopsy shows, being a regular guest on Frankie Boyle’s New World Order, Travel Man, Out of Her Mind and Last Woman on Earth With Sara Pascoe.
Pascoe has also released two books, Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body which was published in 2016, and Sex Power Money which was published in 2019.
In 2020, Pascoe married fellow comedian Steen Raskopolous, and earlier this year she announced that she was pregnant.
Posting pictures of herself performing at a show with her baby bump on display on Instagram, Pascoe wrote: “Love these pictures by @pushgilbey from last week’s gig @woolwichwords and felt a lot of feelings at seeing my bump so big and proud.
“I’ve been shy about posting about my pregnancy, partly my own anxiety after losing one at the beginning of the year, but also awareness of what other people may be going through. There can be so much sadness felt alongside the happiness (and luck) of others.
“However I’m in the third trimester and realised if I don’t post soon, you’ll see me with a buggy next year and think I stole a kid.
“Also I conceived via IVF, so huge love and support to anyone going through it or thinking about it. I want you to get everything you deserve and hope you know how brave you are to go on this journey of the unknown.”
Why didn’t Joe Lycett host the show?
Comedian Joe Lycett has hosted the show since 2019, taking over the reins following the show’s three year hiatus in 2016. Previously, The Great British Sewing Bee was hosted by Claudia Winkleman and Esme Young.
Earlier this year, Lycett announced on Twitter that he would not be returning to his hosting duties on the programme.
On 16 September, he tweeted: “A bit of news: I loved my journey on @sewingbee but I’ve decided it is time for me to go.
“My friend the great @sarapascoe will be the new host and I know she will be fantastic. Big love to all the brilliant team, and go Sara!”
Lycett had originally been slated to host a one-off special on Channel 4, Mummy’s Big Christmas Do!, on Wednesday 22 December, however it had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 concerns.
Announcing the news on Twitter, Lycett wrote: “Unfortunately due to the progression of the omicron variant I am very sad to announce we have cancelled next week’s Mummy’s Big Christmas Do! on Channel 4.
“Live TV involves a huge amount of people; Mummy doesn’t want any of my team at risk! I’m obviously gutted - we had a very fun, loud and colourful shoe and I hope one day we can do it for you.”
How to watch the 2021 celebrity specials?
This year, The Great British Sewing Bee aired two festive specials - a Christmas special and a New Year special.
The Christmas special aired on 22 December, and saw celebrity sewers the Rev Kate Bottley, Antony Cotton, Kiell Smith-Bynoe and Anneka Rice battle it out to be crowned the top sewing bee.
The New Year special aired on 30 December, with both specials hosted by Pascoe.
You can watch both specials on the BBC iPlayer if you didn’t manage to catch them live, with both episodes available to watch for at least 11 months.
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