Nancy Birtwhistle is about the hand over her Bake Off crown, but she launching a whole new battle

Nancy Birtwhistle has had the most incredible year since she was crowned Great British Bake Off champion 2014.
She is now preparing to hand over her crown, but the grandmother of eight shows no sign of slowing down.
“I have had an amazing year and have travelled as far north as Aberdeen and as far south as Cornwall giving demonstrations and talks – it’s better than a face-lift for keeping you young,” says the retired GP practice manager from Hull.
Just as her year as Britain’s official best amateur baker comes to an end, Nancy is backing a campaign which is trying to get us to stop wasting food.
Love Food Hate Waste aims to raise awareness of the need to reduce food waste and help us take action. It shows that by doing some easy practical everyday things in the home we can all waste less food, which will ultimately benefit our purses and the environment too.
Its latest campaign ‘Use Your Loaf’ is to raise awareness about the amount of bread thrown away each year, and that’s where Nancy comes in.
“Research shows that around 24 million slices of bread are thrown away from UK households every single day, which is terrible,” she says.
“Food is cheap and it has almost become disposable. I am very passionate about the food we just throw away when it is perfectly good.”
Nancy says a lot of people she speaks to are still confused about the different between ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates.
“People think because it says ‘best before’ on something they cannot eat
it when it hits that date, it’s not the case, it is perfectly edible.
“Leftover crusts can be blitzed into breadcrumbs and stale bread is fantastic for making bread and butter pudding, croutons or garlic bread.
“I’m thrilled to be taking part in the Use Your Loaf campaign to remind people that our beloved bread can be used in so many ways.”
The campaign is also on the hunt for Britain’s best leftover bread recipes – enter the competition to win and find more tips, tricks and recipes by visiting
Nancy, who impressed the judges of last year’s contest with her no nonsense approach to baking, has spoken frequently on the importance of being thrifty with food.
Donned ‘queen of consistency’ by Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, her journey to being 2014’s Bake Off champion even saw her blitz dough in the microwave in the race to come out top.
She didn’t even tell her family and friends she was taking part.
But her pragmatic approach to baking won the day, and she saw her life change for good.
She says she is watching the current series of Bake Off and is writing a newspaper column and blog about the series.
“I am really enjoying watching it,” she says. “I have to say it is more enjoyable sitting on my sofa at home watching it than being in the tent.
“It seems a very wide open competition this year. At the beginning it looked like Ian was in the driving seat as he won star baker three weeks in a row. But then he had a bit of a slump and it seems the same for a few people.”
She says she doesn’t mind handing over her baking crown, and has no idea
what the future holds but
she is determined to make the most of what comes her way.

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