Mel Giedroyc 'a dedicated fan of NHS'
Great British Bake Off host Mel Giedroyc has said the death of the NHS would be "the worst thing that could possibly happen to this country".
The 47-year-old TV presenter spoke as she launched Marie Curie's Blooming Great Tea Party 2016, which encourages Britons to host their own tea parties to support the charity that provides support for those with terminal illness, in partnership with the NHS.
Asked about her concerns for the health service's future, she said: "As someone who is a dedicated fan of the NHS, I'm extremely worried, I think its a very precious thing that needs to be nurtured, looked after.
"You remember the Olympic opening ceremony that Danny Boyle organised and that amazing opening sequence - I was so bowled over by that and that, to me, said it all.
"It's at our very heart, the heart of who we are as a nation and our communal psyche, and for it to go down the tubes would be the worst thing that could possibly happen to this country."
She described the words of support she offered her comedy partner, Sue Perkins, when she was diagnosed eight years ago with a benign brain tumour that has left her unable to have children.
She said: "I'm basically always there and will be, I've told her this. We'll be in bath chairs together, we'll be pushing each other around some kind of resort, possibly Broadstairs, maybe Margate, but it'll probably be too expensive when we're that old.
"We're there for each other through thick and thin and that includes the bad times as well as the better times. She can't get rid of me, I'm like a bad smell that won't vacate the room."
Speaking about the number of deaths from cancer of beloved celebrities this year, Giedroyc said she was "still not really over" David Bowie's death and called comedian Victoria Wood's death at just 62 "utterly unfair".
She added: "It's a very very sad thing, but being involved with something positive like Marie Curie, it makes it a bit better somehow."
Giedroyc and Perkins are currently filming the seventh series of Bake Off, which will air later in the summer, alongside judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.
Hollywood posted a picture of the four watching the Eurovision Grand Final last week, the details of which Giedroyc gladly divulged.
She said: "It's a regular thing. The four of us - only ever the four of us - have a party in my room on the night of the Grand Final and we get into towelling dressing gowns and slippers and have a little noggin of something, we had hot toddies this time round and a little bit of prosecco and enjoy the extraordinaryness that is Eurovision."
Serving cake to the tea party guests, she joked that she would continue working with sugary goods until she got diabetes.
:: The Marie Curie Blooming Great Tea Party runs from June 20-29. For details on how to host one, visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/teaparty.