The Great British Bake Off's Flo says the show has given her a "new lease of life" following the death of her husband, Richard.
Flo fell into a "black hole" of grief after her partner of 48 years died from leukaemia, but baking and being a contestant on the TV show has rescued her.
The 71-year-old, who is the oldest contest baker on the programme to date, will have her food scrutinised by the nation on the Channel 4 show.
Speaking ahead of the launch, she said: "I was so devastated when Richard died and I was in a bad place. I couldn't laugh, I couldn't be bothered with life, and I just found it so tough.
"Stephen, my son, could see how upset I was and he said 'come on, bake for me' - that helped with the grieving process. My daughter, Nicola, then decided she would apply for me."
Describing her shock at being accepted into the famous white tent, she continued: "Bake Off has given me a new lease of life... The fact that I am part of the 12 bakers in the tent makes me feel proud.
"It's taken me out of the black hole I was in and it's brought me back to the place I was in before Richard died.
"Don't get me wrong, I still sometimes have my bad days but this show really has helped put a smile on my face again."
Flo will be up against another 11 bakers, who include a scientist, a student and a part-time blacksmith.