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Junior meets actress, writer and Masterchef champion Lisa Faulkner

The foodie mum-of-one talks about playing a magical chef in the latest Disney Fairies film, the Great British Bake Off and the flavour of her dream cake


Posted: 17 October 2013
by Alex Lloyd

Lisa Faulkner
Lisa at work recording the voice for Gelata in the new Disney Fairies short film.
Gelata from Disney Fairies
Lisa's character Gelata takes part in a fairy bake off to create a cake for the Queen.

You've provided the voice for baking fairy Gelata in the new Disney Fairies short film, The Pixie Hollow Bake Off. How did this role compare to your previous acting jobs like Spooks?

There are certain jobs you get that you really want to do. I have a seven-year-old daughter who has been obsessed with Tinkerbell and watched all the films, so when they asked me to voice Gelata, I said, “Yes, please!”. I’m sure when Billie sees this, she’ll be begging me for a bake off.

We know you for your on screen work – how did it feel to do a voice over for an animation?

I have done lots of voiceovers, but never something like this. If you do it over your own voice, you naturally synch to what you have said. This was different because it is a character and a cartoon, which already moves its mouth a certain way. Plus it was an American cartoon, so I had to adapt to that. But I loved it, I wanted to do more.

Do you feel for the contestants on the Great British Bake Off, having been a contestant (and winner) on the celebrity version of cookery competition Masterchef in 2010?

I love the Bake Off! I think it is very different to Masterchef. They are all so lovely to each, they hug and kiss each other when they leave. It is so gentle even though they really do amazingly hard tasks. I remember my best friend Angela [Griffin, the actress] was on the celebrity version and told me now nice it was.

We know you for your cooking but do you like baking too?

I love cooking but I also bake a lot. I am not a champion baker and I would not say my baking is amazing. But there is something very therapeutic about baking. There is a recipe you have to follow and you can’t play around – it's a science. The smell of a cake baking is very special.

Do you spend much time baking with your daughter, Billie?

Yes, we cook together and bake together. She loves it. I am always in the kitchen and she will ask, “What are we cooking tonight?”. Now it is getting cold, we put things in the slow cooker. She’s getting ready for school and I’m getting ready for work, but we’ll chop up the vegetables and put them in. She thinks it is amazing that we come home and the meal is ready. 

It’s quite a nice way to get a practical task done while bonding with your child, isn’t it? Especially if you are short on time.

That’s exactly right. If you really can’t bear cooking, it is a difficult thing. But if you like it, it’s something you can learn with your child. Also, I find that the more in control children are, the more involvement they have in making the food, the more likely they are to try to eat something!

What would be your dream cake, if you could only ever have one?

Billie would go for chocolate cake, always. I would go for a sort of ginger cake, or maybe almonds and strawberries. I have a recipe for that in my book.

You’ve just released your second cookery book, The Way I Cook, following on from Recipes From My Mother To My Daughter. Food seems to be a very family-focussed thing for you.

It really is. My family are the sort of people where we would go on holiday and the first question from my grandparents when we got back would be, “What did you eat? And where? What was it like?. We constantly talk about food!

So what would be your perfect family meal?

My daughter always wants a roast, with Yorkshire puddings, cauliflower cheese, mountains of potatoes. There is something lovely about a simple roast chicken followed by apple pie. I don’t think it is Sunday without one.

The Pixie Hollow Bake Off starring Lisa airs on the Disney Channel on Sunday 20 October. Find out more at www.disney.co.uk/disney-fairies. Lisa's latest book, The Way I Cook (£20, Simon & Schuster) is available to buy here

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