Full of energy and ideas, Nancy is known for her sense of humour. Originally from Hull, Nancy moved to Lincolnshire 24 years ago to work as a practice manager for a GP surgery. It was here that she met her husband, Tim, who was a GP at the practice and between them they have five children and eight grandchildren. Now retired, she keeps active by cycling, growing vegetables, rearing guinea fowl and growing her own turkeys for Christmas in her back garden. Her children call it the 'Good Life’. Nancy also finds time to train dogs for obedience but one of her canine students, Meg, embarrassed her at Crufts by falling asleep in the judging arena.
Nancy and her husband have renovated a house in the south of France and her time spent there has influenced her baking. She made friends with a French chef with whom she discusses ideas and learns new techniques, and pushed herself to improve her French so that she can read original French recipes.
Nancy bakes to feed the family and reduce costs, but also genuinely prefers the taste of homemade baking. She wants to pass on her baking knowledge to her grandchildren and see them develop a passion for food and cooking. She loves to impart her knowledge to anyone who will take it, even teaching her hairdresser how to bake.
Nancy in her own words
When did you get into baking?
I got into baking some 7 or 8 years ago. I have always baked but became more involved, after I bought a bread machine of all things. The bread machine started to give me inconsistent results so I started to make it myself and things really took off from there.
Have you got any memories of baking as a child?
I used to bake with my grandmother as a little girl. She made her own pastries and bread and never used a recipe book. The first thing she taught me was [how to make] a custard tart.
What sets you apart from other bakers?
I do not know many other bakers other than the people I have recently met for the Bake Off. I think attention to detail is one of my attributes and I apply this to many things in life, not just to my baking.
Why did you apply to be on The Great British Bake Off?
I applied to be on the Bake Off because I have watched previous series and really felt I could do it.
Have you had any baking disasters?
I have had many many baking disasters and will continue to do so. The main thing is to know what went wrong and why. In that way you shouldn’t have that particular disaster again.
What’s your favourite thing to bake?
Lemon meringue pie
Who is scarier, Mary or Paul?
I wouldn’t describe Mary or Paul as scary. Mary has a lifetime of knowledge and experience and you could never pull the wool over her eyes, she is encouraging and helpful. Paul too is an expert with sound judgement and contemporary views and methods. They make a great team.