Saturday 3 December 2016

Great British Menu celebrates WI

Published 10/06/2015 | 14:11

Great British Menu judges Oliver Peyton, Prue Leith and Matthew Fort pay homage to the WI Calendar Girls (BBC/Optomen Television Ltd/Andrew Hayes-Watkins/PA Wire)
Great British Menu judges Oliver Peyton, Prue Leith and Matthew Fort pay homage to the WI Calendar Girls (BBC/Optomen Television Ltd/Andrew Hayes-Watkins/PA Wire)

Forget the naked chef - the original Calendar Girl is getting in on the act in the latest series of cookery show Great British Menu.

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Angela Baker stripped off with her friends from the Rylstone and District Women's Institute (WI) in North Yorkshire to create the famous calendar to raise money for cancer charities after her husband fell ill, and inspired a hit film starring Dame Helen Mirren.

Ms Baker is joining the BBC2 show as a guest judge alongside the regular panel of Oliver Peyton, Prue Leith and Matthew Fort.

Chefs from across the country will be pitted against each other for the chance to cook at a banquet marking 100 years of the WI at London's Drapers Hall.

The WI, which was founded in 1915 to encourage women to produce food for the nation during the First World War, has become synonymous with hearty home cooking.

Leith said: "Chefs in this country, and in fact the whole British restaurant scene, owe a great debt to the WI. They were the original home economists, teaching us how to grow fantastic produce and get the most from our ingredients. For a century the women of the WI have been a pioneering force for change and for good in this country."

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