Mexican stand-off

18 June, 2010
Page 47 

Your Olivers, Blumenthals and Ramsays have hogged the TV schedules for long enough. The bakery trade has been crying out for its own superstar. Now she's arrived. All hail Angela Maher for her jaw-dropping appearance on Mary Queen of Shops last week.

A whopping 2.6 million people watched Maher's unlikely elevation into the limelight, as she faced off with rapier-bob-haired retail guru Mary Portas, who had finally met her match in this unyielding baker. "One of the oddest and most gripping documentaries of the year," wrote Sarah Dempster in The Guardian, uncharitably noting the bakery's "lacquered pine fittings, the unloved mountain range of slapdash jam tarts, desultory pastries, malformed gingerbread women ('Don't touch them!') and pastries that resembled steamrollered offal."

If you haven't already seen it we won't spoil the fun you can catch it on iPlayer. But while Maher resisted Portas' radical overhaul, the story does not end there, and she has since updated her shop on her own terms. Go Angela! And she's even ditched her much-quoted "I've been in business for 36 years" catchphrase. She's now been in business for 37 years...

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