FORMER Bake Off winner and landlady Candice Brown is calling on everyone to support their local pub.

Great British Bake Off 2016 winner Candice grew up in a pub and, inspired by her mum and dad who ran pubs for 25 years, her life has turned full circle.

Today she’s the proud publican of The Green Man in Bedfordshire and fronting a campaign that means so much to her: Long Live The Local.

She’s urging the government to cut beer duty and help stop roughly three pubs a day ‘calling time’ and closing their doors for good.

“For some people, it’s their only form of contact. A place they come to meet friends, read the paper, have something to eat,” says Brown.

“Mum and dad’s were family pubs with real friends. Everyone got involved and when they moved around, everyone followed. And that for us was what old pubs were about. And when me and my brother took over this place, this is what we wanted.

“We didn’t want to turn it into a fine dining restaurant, or anything like that, because that’s not what I do, and that’s not where we’re from. We wanted to resurrect the old fashioned pub with good pub food,” she adds.

“It’s noisy and there’s atmosphere and always a friendly face.”

But the reality is, with beer duty in the UK the third highest in Europe at 54p a pint, the tax man is arguably crippling this British institution.

“And that’s heartbreaking for me, because that was my childhood,” says Brown.

“That is now my life and that’s why I’m calling on everyone to sign the Long Live The Local petition and make sure we can keep enjoying [pubs] for time to come.”

As well as encouraging the government to cut beer duty in the autumn budget by signing the Long Live The Local petition, Brown is urging people to make a beeline for their local boozer: “Say hello to the landlady or the landlord, say hello to the old boy or the old girl sat at the end of the bar. And just actually appreciate it, because once they’re gone – and if they go – people will say, ‘Oh, we’ve got nowhere to go anymore.’ But then that’s too late.”

* Visit the campaign’s website Long Live The Local (