Reality television stars from the Harborough district are winning fans and entertaining audiences across the nation.
Harborough’s Frances Quinn made it through to the final of the Great British Bake Off on Tuesday night while Gartree prison officer Sam Bailey wowed judges and the audience with her rendition of The Power of Love by Jenifer Rush on the X Factor.
On Tuesday night’s episode of the Bake Off Frances won through to the final after coming second in the technical challenge and putting in strong showings in all the other tasks.
She said: “I got on the technical podium and I got silver.
“I’m very pleased with that going into the last challenge.”
For the showstopper portion, Frances again showed her quirky creativity when she produced a “soap” opera cake using white chocolate, lemon and lavender.
Judge Paul Hollywood was concerned that the lavender could either make or kill the dish. But Hollywood and other judge Mary Berry both agreed the cake looked very professional and said she had once again showed her artistic side with the creation.
Hollywood said the flavour was only okay, needed more lemon and lacked the flavour of the lavender but Frances still won through to the final.
A clearly ecstatic Frances said: “Oh my god I’m in the final. I’m in the final from biscuit towers toppling over and it’s just, oh Lord, I can’t believe it. I was hoping for it so much but now it has actually happened.”
Frances also made the front cover of the Radio Times this week for its Bake Off special.
The Power of Love proved a perfect match for Sam on Saturday night’s X Factor, the first portion of the live shows.
Sam, who has worked at Gartree Prison for the past three years, belted out the classic 80s hit to rapturous applause from the audience and praise from the judges.
Sam’s mentor Sharon Osbourne said she had “nailed it”, while on Sunday’s results show both Gary Barlow and Nicole Scherzinger said her performance had been their favourite of the weekend.
The other over-25s contestants found themselves in difficulty as Lorna Simpson was sent home after losing to Shelley Smith in the sing-off on Sunday night.
Following the shows, Sam’s odds on winning the contest were cut from from 10/1 to 7/1.