Great British Bake Off champion Candice Brown has made the “agonising” decision to quit her job as a PE teacher and pursue her baking dreams after her boss told her not to “miss out”.
The 31-year-old triumphed against Jane Beedle and Andrew Smyth in this year’s final, then after an exciting half-term holiday she returned to her day job teaching children with special needs at Ashlyns School in Hertfordshire.
But it was advice from her headteacher not to approach her newfound fame “half-heartedly” that inspired a change of plans.
After leaving the secondary school on Friday, Brown said: “This has been such an agonising decision to make.
“Never in a million years did I ever go into the show thinking this would happen. That is why I have been back at school teaching since I won the final.
“I have been teaching for about eight years now and I love it. But since winning the final, I have also been completely bowled over by the amazing opportunities that I have been offered.”
With the whole school behind her, there are no hard feelings about Brown’s abrupt departure – and it is hoped she could inspire youngsters to follow their ambitions.
“At first, I kept telling the school I would stay until December,” she told The Mirror. “But they were so incredible and told me I had to grab everything whilst I could.”
“My headteacher told me: ‘You’ve got to do this, you can’t do it half-heartedly. I wouldn’t forgive myself if you missed out. It’s not that we don’t want you here but you have to give it 100%.
“If we can’t encourage our staff to follow their dreams and inspire, then we are not doing our job properly. You are showing the kids that anything is possible.”
So what next for the lipstick-wearing baker with the wicked sense of humour?
Brown confirmed she has signed up with a team of TV agents – so we could be seeing her back on our screens very soon.