'The Great British Bake Off' winners: Who are they and where are they now?

·Contributor
·6 min read
Ep6.  Peter.
Peter Sawkins won series 11. (Love Productions)

Season 12 of The Great British Bake Off is firing up the ovens, as a dozen nervous new contestants hope to be crowned the series champion.

Last year, the title went to Scottish student Peter Sawkins, the youngest ever winner at just 20 years old – but who else has been victorious and where are they now?

Read more: All you need to know about Bake Off season 12

Cast your mind back over every winner since 2010 and see where life has taken them since leaving the Bake Off tent.

Series 1 – Edd Kimber

<p>Edd Kimber took home the prestigious winning title of the first ever <em>Great British Bake Off </em>series back in 2010. The Bradford native quit his job as a debt collector for a bank to pursue his baking career fulltime. And he’s found relative success, as he’s published three cookbooks including ‘The Boy Who Bakes’ and served as the resident baker on <em>The Alan Titchmarsh Show. </em>He continues to regularly provide recipe and features for various culinary publications and regularly shares what he’s up to on his personal blog (theboywhobakes.com).<br />(PA Images) </p>
Edd Kimber aka The Boy Who Bakes. (PA Images)

Way back in 2010, before Bake Off fever truly gripped the nation, Edd Kimber was the show's first winner.

Dubbing himself "The Boy Who Bakes", Kimber has since published a book with the same name, as well as two more: Say It With Cake and Patisserie Made Simple.

His recipes have featured in national newspapers and magazines, while his TV appearances have included being resident baker on The Alan Titchmarsh Show.

Series 2 – Jo Wheatley

<p>After winning the 2011, Jo firstly had to overcome tabloid headlines revealing that her husband was actually in prison for fraud at the time of her win. However, since she has landed a publishing deal and is now the author of two successful recipe books: A Passion For Cooking and Home Baking. Jo also now runs a home cooking school from her home in Essex, which includes classes in cupcake decorating, breadmaking and family cakes. She has also written about food for various national newspapers and magazines and appeared as a guest at the BBC Good Food Show. </p>
Jo Wheatley won series 2. (Love Productions)

Next up was mum-of-three Jo Wheatley, who also bagged some book deals from her win, publishing A Passion For Baking and Home Baking.

She has kept up with cooking as a career by launching a home cooking school with classes including cupcake making.

Series 3 – John Whaite

John Whaite will compete in this year's <em>Strictly Come Dancing</em>. (BBC)
John Whaite will compete in this year's Strictly Come Dancing. (BBC)

If you don't remember series three winner John Whaite particularly well, you're about to get to know him a lot better as one of this year's Strictly Come Dancing contestants.

Whaite will make history as one half of the first all-male couple to compete in the dancing show.

Read more: John Whaite to make history as half of first all-male Strictly duo

Although he's been a bit quieter of late, Whaite made many TV appearances after his win, earned a diploma in patisserie and launched his own cooking school, books and homeware range.

Watch: Who is Strictly's John Whaite?

Series 4 – Frances Quinn

&lt;p&gt;Frances was one of the most creative winners the show has ever seen and now makes the most of that by baking showpiece cakes for big events and weddings. She also has a brilliant recipe blog which she regularly updates with new ideas. Since winning the show, Frances graced the pages of Vogue and says she still stays in touch with both Paul and Mary. Most recently, Frances managed to bag herself another achievement by baking a Guinness World Record breaking world&#x002019;s biggest Jaffa Cake for Radio 4. &lt;/p&gt;
Frances Quinn was known for her creative cakes. (Love Productions)

Frances Quinn was something of a low-key winner compared to rival series 4 competitor Ruby Tandoh, who most viewers are more likely to remember.

However, she's carved out a successful career by publishing a book and snaring private baking clients including Quentin Blake, Jools Holland and the Wimbledon Championships.

Series 5 – Nancy Birtwhistle

&lt;p&gt;Since winning the show in 2014, &#x002018;Queen of Buns&#x002019; Nancy has kept baking and regularly judges baking competitions herself and regularly updates her website and blogs new recipes. She was chosen to bake the Eastenders 30th anniversary cake and is currently working on her first recipe book. Nancy is also currently undertaking a challenge on her blog to deal with one reader&#x002019;s query a day for a year dishing out daily baking tips and recipes through to suggestions about household finances. &lt;/p&gt;
Nancy Birtwhistle has launched a second career from winning. (Love Productions)

Series 5 champion Nancy Birtwhistle was a huge favourite with viewers, who were delighted to see the grandmother-of-nine scoop the prize.

Although Birtwhistle had retired, she went back into work after her win by writing recipes, performing cooking demos and being published in newspapers and magazines. She calls Bake Off "a life-changer".

Series 6 – Nadiya Hussain

Nadiya Hussain feared she was the &#39;token Muslim&#39; on Great British Bake Off
Nadiya Hussain is the biggest star the show has produced. (Love Productions)

The biggest star to come out of Bake Off is series 6 champion Nadiya Hussain, who has become a household name in cooking.

Her many TV shows have included The Chronicles Of Nadiya, Nadiya's British Food Adventure and The Big Family Cooking Showdown, with various related recipe books and even a commission from Buckingham Palace to make the Queen's 90th birthday cake.

Read more: Nadiya Hussain says she's always stopped and searched travelling to the US

Hussain's popularity has transcended cooking, with a documentary called Nadiya: Anxiety And Me to her name, as well as a number of children's books and three novels.

Series 7 – Candice Brown

Candice Brown and Paul Hollywood react to affair rumours following &#39;intimate kiss&#39; photo
Candice Brown took part in Dancing On Ice. (Getty)

Hussain's successor Candice Brown also managed to cross over into stardom outside of the show, most notably as a contestant in Dancing On Ice 2018.

She quit her job as a PE teacher to pursue baking full-time and made a number of TV appearances, as well as spending a while working in Tom Kerridge's kitchen before taking on a pub lease of her own.

Series 8 – Sophie Faldo

Great British Bake Off finalist Sophie Faldo &#39;is being investigated for benefits fraud&#39;
Sophie Faldo's win was announced prematurely. (Love Productions)

Sophie Faldo is perhaps best remembered for the controversy surrounding her win after judge Prue Leith accidentally revealed it hours before the final had aired.

The blunder came about because of a time difference between where Leith was tweeting from and the UK, but it was an unfortunate mishap for the first series to air on Channel 4.

Faldo set up a cake company after her win to add to her list of life achievements, which include being a ballerina, surveillance consultant and ski-touring instructor, winning a bronze medal at the British Rowing Championships and training to be a stunt performer.

Series 9 – Rahul Mandal

Rahul Mandal wins GBBO 2018
Rahul Mandal overcame his stresses to win. (Love Productions)

Another of the show's most popular winners was Rahul Mandal, who was known for his high stress levels in the tent - not helped by a heatwave exploding a glass jar on his bench during the final, meaning he had to do a staggered start after everyone else.

Mandal is still the show's biggest fan, and despite appearances on TV and publishing recipes in the national press, he has continued with his job as an engineering researcher at the University of Sheffield's Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

Series 10 – David Atherton

David Atherton did his bit during the pandemic. (Getty)
David Atherton did his bit during the pandemic. (Getty)

The series 10 winner almost didn't make it on to the show at all as he was originally a reserve before being called up to take part.

David Atherton has since gone on to write a column about food for fitness in The Guardian and published My First Cookbook in August 2020, as well as signing up as a COVID vaccinator.

Series 11 – Peter Sawkins

Ep2.  Peter.
Peter Sawkins is the reigning champion. (Love Productions)

Bake Off's most recent winner was also its youngest – Scottish student Peter Sawkins was just 20 when he won series 11.

His first recipe book Peter Bakes is due out in October 2021.

When he won, Sawkins said: "I can't quite believe that I am here, I can't quite believe that I made it on to the show, and I can't quite believe that the show happened.

"I wanted this a lot. When I was 12, I was watching repeats of Bake Off back-to-back, and it got me into baking big time. 

"I am a Bake Off nerd, and I think 12-year-old Peter would be in awe, and just the most excited giddy kid. I am that excited giddy kid right now."

Watch: See the Bake Off series 12 trailer

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