Great British Bake Off star to judge Wellingborough contest

Deborah Manger
Deborah Manger

A Great British Bake Off contestant has been unveiled as a judge in Wellingborough’s version of the hit BBC show.

Master baker Deborah Manger fought off the competition from more than 14,000 applicants to make it onto this year’s series, progressing to week three after impressing with a series of delicious dishes.

The 51-year-old, who works at Isebrook Hospital in Wellingborough and heads up a team of specialist dentists, has now agreed to become a judge in the Great Wellingborough Bake Off, which takes place on Saturday, October 26.

She said: “The whole Bake Off process was self-indulgent, everything was focused on the bakers. Joining the Wellingborough Bake Off is one way of giving something back.

“I’m obviously a big fan of baking, it’s been my hobby since I was 11. I’m against buying convenience food – if you bake it, you know what’s in it.

“There’s a real appetite for baking with more television programmes and recipe books than ever but the participant numbers are actually going down. I believe it’s about confidence in baking, but people need to give it a go rather than just watch.

“There’s nothing better than touching and smelling food whilst preparing and baking it.

“I’m now hoping to inspire more confidence in home cooking.”

The Wellingborough Business Improvement District (BID) launched the town’s own take on the hit BBC 2 series – which has pulled in record viewing figures this year of more than 6.3 million – to promote the town centre. There will be three categories: sponge cake, cupcakes and under 14s. Prizes worth up to £100 are up for grabs.

Participants need to register and take their cakes to The Great Wellingborough Bake Off marquee, which will be in Gloucester Place, between 10am and 11am on the day.

The offerings will be on display between 11am to 2pm and winner will be announced at 2.30pm

All cakes will then be auctioned off for Wellingborough charity Niamh’s Next Step.

John Cable, manager of the Wellingborough BID, which stages events to promote the town centre, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to welcome Deborah as a judge, what a coup.

“We were all behind her during the Great British Bake Off and now we’re really looking forward to working with her on our version of the show.”

Anyone who wants to enter can register by emailing