A former Hollyoaks make-up and hair artist has swapped make-up for cake artistry to make her TV debut on Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas on Channel 4. Liverpool-based Leanne Harry beat off thousands of applicants to win her place on the show to compete with just three other cake makers all vying to be awarded the trophy for ‘Best Christmas Cake’.

Mum of two Leanne (45) was a freelance make-up and hair artist for TV for many years and opened a make-up and hair salon in Liverpool 12 years ago. She was inspired to try her hand at cake artistry after watching a TV programme about cake decorating and she went on to teach herself the art through books and online tutorials. After only a few months of decorating cakes Leanne won a bronze award at the World’s largest cake competition, Cake International.

Leanne set up her business, KAKE by Leanne Harry, just over 6 months ago and specialises in making extraordinary showstopper realistic celebration, birthday cakes. A recent commission saw her make a Real Housewives of Cheshire cake for one of their charity events.

Leanne Harry, owner of KAKE by Leanne Harry, said: “Cake decorating takes me to my happy place, I absolutely love it. I find it so therapeutic hand crafting small pieces to go on each cake.

“Being selected to compete on Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas was a dream come true. The producers of the programme really liked a cake that I had made for a bride which featured a hand-sculptured miniature Ibiza town. I decided to make a Christmas version of this little town inspired by my trip to Rovaniemi in Lapland a few Christmases ago.”

Over the past decade Kirstie Allsopp has featured over 500 festive makes on her Crafty Christmas shows. In this, the show’s tenth year, she has over 120 more, including many even she’s never seen before, and of course, some fresh takes on old favourites.

Kirstie’s going to show you that with a little handmade magic, you can craft this Christmas into something truly spectacular. She’s collated a cornucopia of crafts into one glorious peak episode; from makes that will transform your home into a winter wonderland to food and drink that are totally indulgent. But there is more, much more.

Across three fabulous festive weeks on daytime, a host of crafty contestants are going all out to be crowned winner of one of 15 craft competitions packed with inspiration, tips and fresh techniques. To complete the carnival of Christmas cheer we’ll take a sneak peek into the workshops of some of the nation’s most creative makers and crafters. There’s enough clever crafty tricks and tips, decorations, gifts, food and drink to satisfy even Father Christmas himself.