Dawn Hollyoak, “Great British Baking Show ”Contestant, Dies at 61

Hollyoak is remembered as “not only a wonderfully talented baker, but first and foremost an amazing mother, grandmother, wife and friend"

<p>Dawn Hollyoak/ Instagram</p> Dawn Hollyoak

Dawn Hollyoak/ Instagram

Dawn Hollyoak

Dawn Hollyoak, known for appearing as a contestant on Netflix’s The Great British Baking Show, has died. She was 61.

Her death was announced on her Instagram page on Friday, July 5.

“The Baker Dawn 🕊️💔 It’s with a heavy heart we announce the passing of our star 🌟 baker Dawn,” read a statement on her account. The message was accompanied by a single photo of Hollyoak as she smiled in a kitchen with a coffee mug in her hands.

<p>Dawn Hollyoak/ Instagram</p> Dawn Hollyoak

Dawn Hollyoak/ Instagram

Dawn Hollyoak

“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!” the message concluded.

A representative for Hollyoak did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

No cause of death was given in Friday’s announcement.

<p>Dawn Hollyoak/ Instagram</p> Dawn Hollyoak

Dawn Hollyoak/ Instagram

Dawn Hollyoak

Loved ones expressed their condolences in the comment section, including Carole Edwards who competed alongside Hollyoak on The Great British Baking Show in 2022.

"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," she wrote. "Sending all my love to the family. Xx."

Judge Paul Hollywood also commented his sympathies: "I’m so sorry to hear that, send my love to the family 😢 a lovely lady x."

Netflix Dawn Hollyoak (far right) on the Great British Baking Show
Netflix Dawn Hollyoak (far right) on the Great British Baking Show

Hollyoak, who lived in Bedfordshire, England, was a contestant in collection 10 on the Netflix series, known as the Great British Bake Off in the U.K. She earned high praise from the judges for numerous bakes before she was eliminated during Halloween Week on episode 6.

"I really don’t want to shed tears over it because it’s just been the most amazing experience really, one of the absolute best experiences of my life," she said before leaving the show. "I'm really, really proud of what I've done. I've had fun — such fun."

Contestants from previous seasons also commented after learning of Hollyoak's death.

“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🕊️❤️‍🩹 , wrote George Aristidou, who appeared on The Great British Bake Off in 2021.

Related: 'Great British Baking Show' Winner Syabira Was Proud to 'Put Malaysia on the Map' with Her Bakes

"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! ❤️," wrote Giuseppe Dell'Anno, who won the competition in 2021.

<p>Dawn Hollyoak/ Instagram</p> Dawn Hollyoak

Dawn Hollyoak/ Instagram

Dawn Hollyoak

Others from the show who left words of support included Candice Brown from the 2016 season, 2018 winner Dr. Rahul Mandal, as well as Sakunthala Chandrasekara from 2023.

When Hollyoak competed, The Great British Bake Off shared a profile of Hollyoak, revealing she was the eldest of three children, a mother of three, step-mother to two, and gran/step-gran to four.

“Describing herself as an artist in and out of the kitchen, Dawn loves the challenge of an illusion cake (the more impossible-sounding, the better)," the post read, "favouring whacky and intricate designs that allow her to express her creative talent,"

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