Famous faces join Patrick Grant and May Martin for three specials

Budding celebrity sewers will do battle in three new special episodes of The Great British Sewing Bee. Each hour-long show will be overseen by a celebrity guest host, while four more familiar faces will take their places at the sewing machines in a bid to impress judges Patrick Grant and May Martin. The trio of episodes are on BBC Two ahead of our Appeal Show on Friday 14 November.

In the first episode, Jenny Éclair takes hosting duties, overseeing Hairy Biker Dave Myers, DJ and presenter Edith Bowman, Coronation Street actress Wendi Peters, and Embarrassing Bodies’ Dr Dawn Harper. The judges set them three challenges including the transformation of a classic Hawaiian shirt into a child’s garment.

Sara Cox steps in as guest host for the second episode, welcoming dance expert Louie Spence, comedian Mark Watson, television presenter Gaby Roslin and actress Pam Ferris as they pick up their needles to tackle challenges including designing a bespoke animal onesie.

Anita Rani completes the hosting line-up for episode 3 and is joined by BBC Radio 1 DJ Gemma Cairney, comedian Helen Lederer, TV critic and author Kathryn Flett, and Overtones singer Timmy Matley. The challenges certainly get the celebrities thinking creatively, as they’re tasked with creating a junior garment inspired by their own favourite childhood memory.

Following the broadcasts, select items made by the contestants will be auctioned on our eBay site. From October, limited edition Pudsey Bear ironing board covers that feature on the show will also go on sale, priced £10 and available from the Pudsey Shop. 100% of the profits from the auctions and the ironing board covers will benefit BBC Children in Need.

Speaking of the celebrity episodes, May Martin said: “It’s been great fun to judge these special episodes, especially to see the real mix of characters and abilities. We’ve covered a real variety, from the more competent sewer to the absolute novice – and I really do mean absolute!”