A STAR of the popular television series the Great British Bake-Off was in Dorchester for a fundraiser.

Maggie Richardson, known as Maggie the Seaside Baker, hosted an afternoon of tea and tales at the Dorchester Community Church in Poundbury on Wednesday.

It was part of the ‘Communi-tea’ initiative from Dorset Tea, which hosted the event for elderly charity Age UK's North, South and West Dorset branch.

Maggie, a retired midwife, was the oldest baker on the TV show when she appeared at the age of 70.

Dorset Echo: She featured in series 12 of the hit Channel 4 television show which aired in 2021 before making an appearance in a Christmas special in 2023.

She is passionate about supporting the charity and providing a fun and safe space for the Age UK community to gather.

Maggie, who is from Poole but now lives in Christchurch, said: “Tea more than any other drink brings people together like nothing else. Young or old, there is nothing like a cuppa.

“So drinking tea is the perfect way to spend the afternoon chatting and discovering interesting things about other people. I am delighted to support Age UK with this tea party.”

Dorset Echo: Attendees enjoyed a delightful afternoon filled with tea, cake, and captivating stories from Maggie herself. The seasoned baker shared her love for baking, her experiences as a contestant on the renowned baking competition, and her journey to becoming a local celebrity. 

A cheque for £300 from Dorset Tea was presented to the Age UK branch at the event. 

Dorset Echo: Lauren Forecast from Dorset Tea said: “We are delighted to be supporting Age UK North, South & West Dorset, with this special event, helping to tackle loneliness and isolation in rural Dorset. Maggie's passion for baking and her warm personality are sure to delight guests, raising funds and awareness for this crucial cause."

Rachel Weiss, COO from Age UK North, South & West Dorset, said: "We believe in the power of community and the simple pleasures of a good cup of tea. 

"This event with Maggie the Seaside Baker is an extension of our commitment to creating memorable experiences and fostering connections within our community."