The Great British Bake Off: How is Dorset's Maggie doing?

Maggie, our Dorset contender in GGBO with Paul Hollywood 

Maggie, our Dorset contender in GGBO with Paul Hollywood and a pair of Prue's glasses! - Credit: Mark Bourdillon/Love Productions

Who knew that a gingerbread beach hut could reduce a grown woman to tears? Sitting in front of the television watching Channel 4’s The Great British Bake Off (GBBO) this week, I just wanted to give Maggie from Poole a virtual hug when her seaside-inspired biscuit showstopper drew the acerbic comment: ’If this was a school report it would say must do better’ from judge Paul Hollywood. I felt for the redoubtable Maggie, a retired midwife, who at the age of 70 is GBBO’s oldest contestant.   

This is the sort of tough love we expect from the steely-eyed Doyen of Dough. But as Maggie wiped away the tears, beaming that 1000kw smile that has lit up the GBBO tent since day one, I knew that ‘our Maggie’ was going to be fine.    

Matt Lucas chatting with Maggie in the GBBO tent 

Matt Lucas chatting with Maggie in the GBBO tent - Credit: Love Productions

It’s been a joy to see her in action. She bears more than a passing resemblance to the ‘Colourful Queen of the Bake Off Scene’ Prue Leith. Paul even pinched a pair of Prue’s signature glasses and popped them on Maggie to prove the point. But Maggie - who loves canoeing, kayaking and sailing in Poole Harbour and regularly takes off for road trips in her campervan - is powering through, even though she struggled to pipe blackcurrant cream into her brandy snaps due to nerves.  

GBBO judges Paul and Prue 

GBBO judges Paul and Prue - Credit: Love Productions

Maggie loves recreating traditional bakes, her malt loaf came top in the technical bakes in week one. She says that lockdown gave her plenty of time to indulge in her passion for baking, and look where this has taken her! Bread is one of her favourites, and week three is Bread Week so I think that our Maggie will rise to the occasion!

A hint of what Maggie is baking in Bread Week on GBBO 

A hint of what Maggie is baking in Bread Week on GBBO - Credit: Love Productions

I’m already imagining a Jurassic Coast inspired showstopper – perhaps Durdle Door in dough form?  And Paul, if you make our Maggie cry...we will pelt you with Dorset Knobs!