Sweet maker bags starring role on screen

Andy Baxendale
Andy Baxendale

The Willy Wonka of Wigan is securing celebrity status after starring in a new TV show about the history of sweets.

Andy Baxendale, 50, will appear in a three-part series about confectionary through the ages, exploring sweets in Tudor, Georgian and Victorian Britain.

Now a confectionary consultant, Andy has been in the sweet-making industry since 1994 where he began his career at the Chewitts factory.

With more than two decades of experience in the trade, Andy fought off competition from 180 applicants to bag a starring role in “The Sweet Makers” which will air on BBC Two on Wednesdays, July 19 andy 26 and August 2.

Andy, who used to own Connie’s Kitchen in Newton-le-Willows and became the mastermind behind bacon fudge, spoke about his on-screen experience and how he hopes to use his new skills in his day job.

“I have been on a couple of quiz shows before but nothing scripted like this,” he said. “They gave us period intact recipes and over the shows we did a sugar banquet and had to stock a Victorian sweet shop. “We had to make it all. The Victorian one I knew a lot more about as it’s much more similar to modern day, but the Tudor and Georgian ones were strange. Some of the stuff we were making was really weird.”

As part of the Tudor episode, Andy uses recipes that have not been tasted for hundreds of years, including Parmesan ice cream and sugar coated roses, which were believed to cure sexually transmitted infections.

“I learnt a lot,” he added. “I’m thinking of including it in some of my training courses,”