Meet Maggie, GBBO's 70-year-old contestant from Dorset

Maggie with Prue Leigh during the filming of The Great British Bake Off

Dorset baker Maggie with GBBO judge Prue Leith during filming - Credit: Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions

On your marks, get set, bake! The most daunting tent in the world is about to welcome 12 amateur bakers to pit their showstoppers and technical bakes against each other as The Great British Bake Off returns to Channel 4. Flour will fly and tempers will be tested as they attempt to impress judges - the ‘Doyen of Dough’ Paul Hollywood (who will get the coveted double hand-shake or will it be a double elbow bump?), and the ‘Colourful Queen of the Bake Off Scene’ Prue Leith, assisted by the dynamic duo Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas.

Noel Fielding, Prue Leith, Paul Hollywood and Matt Lucas with GBBO line-up

Noel Fielding, Prue Leith, Paul Hollywood and Matt Lucas with this year's bakers in The Great British Bake Off tent - Credit: Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions

Filmed earlier this year, with all concerned in the production part of a Bake Off bubble, Hollywood has already hinted that this is going to be an exceptional series, declaring that the standard of baking was ’the highest I’ve ever encountered’.  

The Great British Bake Off line-up for 2021

GBBO line-up for 2021: Elizabeth, George, Juergen, Crystelle, Jairzeno, Rochica, Giuseppe, Tom, Maggie (from Dorset), Chirag, Amanda and Freya - Credit: Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions

The 2021 line-up features a diverse range of backgrounds, experience  and ages including a 56-year-old police detective in the Met, a 19-year-old vegan psychology student, a German-born trombone playing physicist and - flying the flag for Dorset – Maggie, a retired nurse and midwife from Poole, who at 70 is this year’s oldest baker.

Maggie with Matt Lucas during filming in the GBBO tent 

Maggie with Matt Lucas during filming in the GBBO tent - Credit: Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions

Rumour has it that Maggie can whip up a divine Dorset apple cake and even bake a Dorset knob, two county classics that could make an appearance on this award-winning national television show. How will  Noel and Matt react when confronted with a Dorset knob?!   

Channel your inner baker with this recipe for Dorset apple cake 

Maggie from Poole will be flying the flag for Dorset at GBBO

Maggie, the active 70-year-old from Poole in Dorset is this year's oldest contestant for The Great British Bake Off - Credit: Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions

Meet Maggie from Poole 

Maggie, who has lived most of her life Dorset, grew up surrounded by family who constantly cooked and baked - so baking is something that comes naturally. She has an impressive collection of classic recipe books and loves recreating traditional bakes, lockdown gave her plenty of time to indulge in this, while at the same time experimenting with exciting flavours. Her favourite thing to bake is bread – so she will be the one to watch in Bread Week!  

Noel Fielding chats to Maggie during one of the baking tasks

Noel Fielding chats to Maggie during one of the baking tasks - Credit: Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions

Maggie believes the years of experience she has gained delivering babies was good preparation for taking part in Bake Off - working under pressure should be a breeze. She is also very fit – she loves canoeing, kayaking and sailing in Poole Harbour (a passion inherited from her father), and regularly takes off for road trips in her campervan (I hope she shares some campervan bakes).  

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When she’s not baking or thrill-seeking, Maggie enjoys spending time with her great nieces and great nephews. And, no great surprise when you have a natural born baker in the family, she has a regular stream of requests for birthday cakes and Christmas cakes. 

Maggie chatting with Prue Leith during the filming of GBBO

Maggie chatting with Prue Leith during the filming of GBBO - Credit: Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions

When asked what showstopper would best express her, she said ‘a modern sculpture of a woman holding a baby’  - whether this would be in cake, bread or pie form is unclear.  

Will Maggie receive the accolade of a Paul Hollywood double handshake? 

Will Maggie receive the accolade of a Paul Hollywood double handshake? - Credit: Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions

As Maggie is very proud to live in Dorset, and loves exploring its coast and countryside, I’m already imagining some Jurassic Coast inspired showstoppers - West Bay’s golden rippling cliffs in bread form, or an iced fruit cake representation of Old Harry Rocks topped with chalky white frosting. Or perhaps she will be inspired to create the Cerne Abbas Giant in gingerbread?  

Whatever she creates and bakes, we'll be cheering Maggie on!  

Paul, Noel, Prue and Matt are ready for The Great British Bake Off

Paul, Noel, Prue and Matt are ready for The Great British Bake Off - Credit: Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions

The Great British Bake Off starts on Tuesday September 21 at 8pm

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