A Norfolk baker has been forced to hang up his apron due to ill health but hopes to keep on stirring up the crowd with his band.

Mick the Baker, who ran a bakery stall at Place Farm Shop near Diss, handed over his mixing bowl last month after planned treatment became a major operation and doctors urged him to "slow it down".

The 66-year-old had been in the industry for 28 years and set up six bakeries across the region.

He said: "After a few health issues and telling-offs from the doctor, I've had to make the difficult decision to hand over the bakery to someone new.

Diss Mercury: Mick the Baker hopes to continue performing with his band after hanging up his apronMick the Baker hopes to continue performing with his band after hanging up his apron (Image: Lou Killaspy Photography)

"I need to slow it down but going from working 16 hours a day to not at all is tough to deal with.

"I'm a people person and loved chatting with customers so it has been hard. It all came about very suddenly.

"I'm going to have to have a rebrand as I am now Mick the non-baker."

Despite his early starts as a baker, Mr Eldridge has also managed to forge a career as a musician, singing and playing congas with his band who travel over Norfolk, Suffolk and further afield to entertain audiences.

"I still have gigs coming through which is great," he said, adding: "I plan to keep making music and hope to be back on stage in the coming months.

"But at the moment, I am floating around recuperating after a hip operation."

Diss Mercury: Some of Mick the Baker's traditional treatsSome of Mick the Baker's traditional treats (Image: Lou Killaspy Photography)

The bakery at Place Farm is now in the hands of Jonathan Clarke, a traditional baker like Mr Eldridge, who will keep the bakery stall going.

"He is a younger fella than I am so he will be working more days than I was and I'm sure it will continue to be a success," Mr Eldridge said.

"I've had the best customers and made lots of friends which is the main thing."