GBBO Dylan-James

GBBO fans ‘broken’ by Dylan-James’ devastating death at just three years old

"There is nothing worse than watching your child's heart stop beating."

GBBO viewers were left totally distraught this week after watching the devastating tale of Dylan-James.

The Celebrity version returned on Sunday (March 19, 2023) with four famous faces attempting to win Star Baker.

But it was the Stand Up to Cancer film that had the most impact on those watching from home.

Viewers were left ‘broken’ by a short film, which shared the tragic story of toddler Dylan-James.

David Schwimmer wears Stand Up to Cancer apron on GBBO
David Schwimmer joined Jesy Nelson, Rose Matafeo, and Tom Davis on The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up to Cancer (Credit: C4)

The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up to Cancer on Channel 4

The new series of The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up to Cancer began on Sunday, March 19, 2023.

Host Matt Lucas welcomed celebs David Schwimmer, Jesy Nelson, Rose Matafeo, and Tom Davis.

They all had to create fiddly French confection, as well as recreating their most embarrassing celebrity fail in meringue.

Millions of viewers tuned in to watch the popular Channel 4 series, but it was the five minute fundraising film about Dylan-James that had the biggest effect during the show.

Who was Dylan-James on GBBO?

Alison and Warren lost their beloved son Dylan-James to cancer, when he was aged just three.

Alison had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2013, when she was 35.

At the time, she had recently got engaged, was planning her wedding to marry her childhood sweetheart Warren, and had her dream job as a head teacher.

Alison had surgery and was lucky enough to conceive one year later.

Dylan-James was born in 2014, two months premature.

Alison said: “It was the happiest I have ever been, and we knew how precious he was, even more so being a premature baby.

“He was a real delight and brought so much joy to us as a whole family.

“He made everyone laugh, smile and wherever he went he left an impression, particularly with his beautiful eyes.”

However, tragedy was just around the corner.

Dylan-James battled cancer
Tragically, Dylan-James died in June 2018, just two months before his fourth birthday (Credit: Channel 4)

What did Dylan-James die of?

In 2017, just before his third birthday, Dylan-James was diagnosed with a mass on his kidney called Wilms tumour, a childhood cancer.

Dylan-James started a 12-month, high-dose chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment plan as well as major surgery to remove his kidney and the tumour.

Tragically, the tumour eventually came back, and had spread to his lungs.

Doctors gave Dylan-James just two months left to live.

Alison said: “My heart was breaking in places I didn’t know was possible.

“I had to look at him and just smile because I didn’t want to tell him.

“It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.”

Dylan-James died on June 22, 2018, just two weeks after his terminal diagnosis, and it was only weeks before his fourth birthday.

In scenes that left viewers sobbing, Alison said: “I was cuddling him and he just stopped breathing.

“There’s nothing worse than watching your child’s heart stop beating and yours carries on.”

Viewers left ‘sobbing’ and ‘broken’ by Dylan-James story on GBBO

GBBO viewers were absolutely heartbroken by the short film featuring Dylan-James and his mum Alison.

They shared their collective grief on Twitter.

One typed: “Absolutely heartbreaking. I’m in floods of tears. RIP Dylan-James.”

Another said: “Dylan-James’ story absolutely broke me. That poor little boy. Cancer really is so unfair. #GBBO.”

A third sobbed: “Just catching up on #GBBO. The story of little Dylan-James bless him has just ripped my heart out and I’m a blubbering mess! RIP darling boy.”

“Dylan-James and his mum’s story is one of the saddest I’ve ever seen.” said one, while another added: “The story about little Dylan-James has broken me #GBBO.”

Others could only manage a few words, speaking for all of us when they wrote: “Broke me, sobbing.”

To donate to Stand Up to Cancer, click here.

Read more: Bake Off announces Alison Hammond as host as fans hugely divided: ‘That’s Bake Off ruined for me’

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The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up to Cancer continues on Sunday, March 26, 2023 at 7.40pm on Channel 4.

Were you moved by the Dylan-James story on GBBO? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.

Helen Fear
TV Editor