Michael Portillo makes gingerbread in Grantham for his railway journeys TV series

Alastair Hawken and Michael Portillo make gingerbread for the new series of Great British Railway Journeys.
Alastair Hawken and Michael Portillo make gingerbread for the new series of Great British Railway Journeys.
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TV presenter and former government minister Michael Portillo has been in Grantham baking and tasting the town’s famous gingerbread.

Mr Portillo was filmed making the biscuits with Alastair Hawken, who runs Panini in Westgate, for the sixth series of his Great British Railway Journeys. The Grantham programme will be shown on Monday on BBC2 at 6.30pm.

It will follow the former Conservative MP on a journey from Derby to Grantham. In the series he follows the diaries of Victorian George Bradshaw who travelled around the country on the railways.

Mr Hawken said: “Michael came to meet me and spent the afternoon back in July baking Grantham Gingerbread. It was a pleasure to be part of it and needless to say it is great for Grantham to be included in a programme with such a large audience that a series like this attracts. It was also a pleasure to meet Michael Portillo himself who I have to say was a consummate professional who knew exactly how to use the camera and deliver his lines but I suppose that there can be no greater classroom to develop such skills than the front bench of the Houses of Parliament.

“As for his biscuit making skills, not bad a for a first attempt but they did contain rather a lot of egg shell.”

Mr Portillo is no stranger to Grantham. In 2013 he was in town to make a video promoting the district for the council and he also gave a talk in aid of St Wulfram’s spire appeal. In March he is on stage at the Guildhall Arts Theatre in An Evening with Michael Portillo to talk about his time as an MP and TV presenter.