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Weekly cooks up quirky two-page feature

A weekly newspaper has cooked up a quirky two-page spread after its local leisure centre was referenced in hit BBC2 show The Great British Bake Off.

When the programme’s co-presenter Mel Giedroyc jokingly suggested competitors could craft a loaf of bread in the shape of Leatherhead Leisure Centre, staff at the Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser took on the challenge nonetheless.

Advertiser readers were also invited to showcase their culinary skills and news editor David Blackmore tasked reporter Jennifer Hardwick with finding a master baker who could cook up an image of the council-run building.

The challenge proved popular with readers with several amateur bakers cooking up a number of impressive treats including a cake in the shape of the centre’s pool and soft play area and a pair of edible shuttlecocks.


Advertiser reader Geoff Havers with his recreation of Leatherhead Leisure Centre, outside the real thing

David said the story went down very well with readers while Jennifer made her own cake-based tribute to the iconic sporting facility.

“As an avid fan of The Great British Bake Off, I was watching it last week and couldn’t believe it when I heard the bakers were being told about their showstopper challenge when Mel mentioned they could even create a loaf that looked like Leatherhead Leisure Centre,” he said.

“The result was a double-page spread which was light-hearted, original and quirky and one I am particularly proud of and I’m sure our readers enjoyed reading it too.”

Reflecting on the leisure centre’s newfound fame, manager Martin Pask said: “It was short notice this time but I think next year we ’ll have 20 cakes.

“Every time we get a mention in The Great British Bake Off we’ll have another competition.

“Mel Giedroyc is welcome to come any time to see the building. It was very difficult to award prizes today. All the cakes are good.”