chicken-and-egg - page 31

Chicken & Egg. Welfare and Food Together.
1. Firstly, let’s step back in time to when
you won GBBO in 2014 – can you still
remember the feeling?
I just wasn’t expecting it. I was lucky in the final
that everything went well. I didn’t get overly
nervous and thought I’m here to have fun. It
is a fantastic opportunity so I am going to
embrace it and enjoy it. The biggest challenge
is with yourself, not the other bakers. I knew I
couldn't prepare for the technical but with the
other two challenges I knew, if I did it as I had
at home, then I could achieve good things.
That weekend nothing went wrong. I was totally
focused. Especially in the final. There was a
camera on you the whole time and the crew
were talking to you constantly. If anybody had
a crisis the film crewwere like bees round a
honey pot because that was interesting!
When the three of us were standing waiting
for the winner to be announced I remember
focussing on a tree on the horizon. I was not
thinking about anything. When they read
my name out I can’t remember much about
it. There had been 10 weekends of living,
breathing, sleeping Bake Off. The whole thing
was an emotional rollercoaster. It was by far
the hardest thing I have ever done, but by far
the best too.
2. How did life change for you immediately
after you won - were you recognised on the
We started filming at the end of April and
finished the last weekend in June. Filming
ended and I knew I had won, but I came home
and couldn't say anything because it had to
remain a secret.. July went by and everything
went flat. From applying in October right
through until June I had been totally
occupied with Bake Off and overnight it
suddenly stopped. I remember going on holiday
thinking what to do next?
Then it started on TV in August and that was
when the media began to take an interest.
This was the first series on BBC One. There
was an announcement about the line-up and
the local press were round wanting to know
how I did!
The year before there had been a contestant
from Grimsby. One journalist interviewing me
asked if I did as well as her and I replied ‘you’ll
have to wait and see’ so she went back to the
office and said ‘I don’t think Nancy did very well’!
As the weeks went by and we got halfway
people started to recognise me. I was in a
supermarket in France and someone
recognised me, and I went to Italy and some-
one had seen me on the show.
3. Can we expect your encyclopaedia
of baking to be out on the shelves any
time soon?
From the 2014 contestants Louis, Richard,
Martha and Chetna all had books published.
I had a publisher contact me but hesitated
simply because there were so many books out
there already. I thought if I write a book I want it
to be a book I would want to read. I flick through
books but am never sure if what I make will look
like the photo.
I have written 500 recipes and was told I would
need 100 for a book, but wrote a recipe for each
day of a year so I could pick out the best ones.
I am enjoying the process whether or not a
book will come out of it.
Nancy Birtwhistle is breaking the Great British Bake Off mould. Crowned winner
of the hit show in 2014, Nancy is the only winner not to have released a book.
Ex-bat owner herself, here she tells us why she’s doing things her own way.
Nancy Birtwhistle
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