Belfast Telegraph

A tweet success for Barlow baker

By Lesley Houston

A talented baker is enjoying a rise in business after a birthday cake she handcrafted for her idol Gary Barlow was shared through Twitter with millions of his global followers.

Bangor businesswoman Pauline Carson immortalised the X-Factor judge and Take That star in butter, flour and sugar after realising that his Belfast gig fell during his birthday month.

She delivered the monochrome, two-tier creation - which is wrapped in sheet music for the group's hit Rule the World - to his dressing room at the Waterfront Hall ahead of his sell-out concert this week.

While the mother-of-two was waiting in the queue to get into the gig, she was overwhelmed to find the star had tweeted a picture of the cake which could be seen by his 2.5 million Twitter fans the world over.

"Just found a nice surprise in my dressing room," tweeted Gary.

His comment and photo has since been retweeted an amazing 625 times, bringing new attention and custom to her business.

Gary's tweet - including his snap of the cake - has been shared by over 700 people on Facebook. Ms Carson said: "The idea started as a bit of fun between friends and snowballed from there. It's Gary's birthday on January 20 so it was too good an opportunity to miss."

The former newspaper deputy editor used some old contacts at the Waterfront Hall to make a special request to pass on her novelty cake to Gary.

"Unfortunately, I didn't get to meet him but I was told to bring the cake to the stage door and they delivered it up to this dressing room," she said.

While baking is far removed from her previous career at a regional newspaper, she had exercised her culinary flair through the cafe and catering business which she runs with her husband Mark in Dundonald.

"I always baked as a child and I started out making cakes for friends and it took off from there," she added.

"The demand became so great while I was off on maternity leave that I decided to leave the newspaper altogether."

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