TV Principal Jill judges Great Middleton Hall Cake Off final

TELEVISION’S no-nonsense principal Jill Harbord made a special appearance to judge Middleton Hall’s charity version of the hit show The Great British Bake Off.

The Great Middleton Hall Cake Off saw five residents team up with five members of staff  to bake their favourite cakes as part of the World’s Largest Coffee Morning in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support on Friday September 27.

Jill became renowned for her formidable style on ITV’s Ladette to Lady where, as principal of the fictional finishing school at Eggleston Hall, in County Durham, she taught uncouth youngsters how to become ladies.

Staff and residents had spent most of Thursday demonstrating their cake skills ready for Jill’s judging. Offerings included a courgette and lemon cake; Guinness and chocolate muffins and a traditional Victoria sponge.

But resident Hilary Gibbon  and Pauline Kwok, a care assistant in Family Group Living , were announced as star bakers and won a meal for two in the village’s restaurant with their strawberry roulade.

Jill said: “The standard was very high, however the winning strawberry roulade was wonderful. The sponge was light and the fact that they’d manage to roll it was a big accomplishment.

“Overall, this has been a fantastic event in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. The standard of all of the cakes was very professional and many were beautifully decorated.”

Jeremy Walford, managing director of Middleton Hall Retirement Village, said:

“It’s brilliant when you get the older residents demonstrating their skills to the younger generation. We have residents who teach staff how to knit and bake regularly which is fantastic.”

As well as selling the cakes after the judging, residents and staff also held a raffle to raise additional funds for the charity. Over £500 was raised for Macmillan.