This week on Growing Bolder, we’re thrilled to welcome our very first guest - none other than Great British Bake Off’s Jane Beedle. Our lovely host, actress and TV personality Linda Robson, had the pleasure of chatting with Jane about her passions, her time on Bake Off, and her thoughts on life after 50.
Dialling in from her home in beautiful Faversham, Jane was only too happy to talk us through her journey from a small business owner, to Bake Off contestant, to a promising encore career as the founder of her very own cookery school, Jane’s Kitchen Kent.
Raising their children in South London more than twenty years ago, Jane and her close friend Harriet decided to embrace their passion for gardening and offer their services in garden maintenance to local homeowners. Incredibly, the business took off within a week, and the pair never looked back.
It was Harriet who ultimately encouraged her to apply for Great British Bake Off, impressed by the beautiful cakes Jane would bake for her children. After two unsuccessful entries, Jane decided to give it one last really good try – and was invited onto the show in season 7! The tenacity that saw her through is something she credits to her Dad, one of her biggest inspirations growing up. “Whenever my Father got knocked back by anything, he’d shake himself off and he’d go ‘Right... I’m going to do twice as good tomorrow’.” Jane’s father was determined not to let his age stop him from living life to the fullest; a lesson she has obviously taken to heart. In her own words, “life doesn’t stop after 50.”
For her part, Jane feels that appearing on Great British Bake Off renewed some of the confidence that had worn off over time. “As you get older, especially as women I think, you become invisible,” she says. But by stepping out of her comfort zone and onto the television set, Jane found an experience that gave her a new lease on life, a circle of beloved new friends, and the confidence to try something new and pursue her latest business venture.
If there’s anything Jane has learned from the experience, it’s that doing what brings you joy is the key to happiness after 50. “It doesn’t really matter as long as you’re loving it and proving to yourself that actually there’s still lots more life to be lived.”
To hear the full episode, find us on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. You can also click here for more information about how to listen. Don’t forget to tune in to Growing Bolder next week for Episode 2, when Linda will be joined by Charlie Hides of RuPaul’s Drag Race fame!