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New Zealand comic 'deeply sorry' for botched Jacinda Ardern cake

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to media during a press conference at Parlaiment on 16 April Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Jacinda Ardern's handling of New Zealand's coronavirus outbreak has been praised

A comedian has apologised to New Zealand’s prime minister after she tried to bake a cake in her likeness and produced a calamitous result.

Laura Daniel baked the cake, meant to resemble Jacinda Ardern's face, during an episode of the TV programme Seven Sharp, which aired earlier this week.

Daniel challenged host Hilary Barry to a bake-off competition.

Both were tasked with baking an iconic Kiwi cake in 120 minutes without using flour.

Barry, an experienced baker, made pavlova in the shape of Mount Cook, the highest mountain in New Zealand, which she appeared pleased with.

Daniel, on the other hand, baked a lolly cake supposed to look like Ms Ardern, using a picture on the front of her autobiography for inspiration.

As images of the finished article show, the cake was hardly a dead ringer for Ms Ardern.

Reflecting on her cake catastrophe in an Instagram post, Daniel said she realised the wisdom of the phrase "don’t bake your heroes", but "wanted to try anyway".

"I’m deeply sorry Jacinda Ardern," Daniel wrote. "I truly tried my best with what I had available… it’s made from another NZ icon lolly cake."

The prime minister later commented in the post: "😳😳".

The cake promoted amusement and ridicule on social media, where people poked fun at Daniel’s crude creation.

One person described the cake as "truly haunting", while another wrote, apparently sarcastically, "spitting image" alongside a thumbs-up emoji.

Baking at home has increased in popularity during New Zealand’s lockdown, imposed by Ms Ardern to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Ms Ardern’s handling of New Zealand’s coronavirus outbreak has received widespread praise in the media.

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Media captionJacinda Ardern: 'I'm just trying to be her because she's cool'

Her response to the coronavirus pandemic was swift, involving the closure of New Zealand’s borders to foreigners on 20 March before the introduction of strict social-distancing measures on 26 March.

All but essential businesses and services were closed and stay-at-home orders were issued nationwide as part of the four-stage lockdown.

Currently, there are around 1,400 known cases and nine deaths from the outbreak in New Zealand, a country of almost five million people.

On Thursday, Ms Ardern signalled the country was approaching a position where she may be able to lift some restrictions on life.

"There are promising signs our go-hard-and-go-early elimination strategy is working and the lockdown is breaking the chain of community transmission," Ms Ardern said.

Earlier this week, the prime minister said she and other ministers would take a 20% pay cut for the next six months to show solidarity with those affected by coronavirus. Government leaders in other countries, including those in Singapore and Ecuador, have reduced their pay for similar reasons.