For the past nine years we’ve all found ourselves absolutely invested in the methods of whisking crème pâtissière, the potential risks of using cardamom as a flavouring, and the ways in which you could choose to precariously balance gingerbread monuments.
The Great British Bake Off has remained a firm favourite for TV viewers, even after its controversial switch to Channel 4 from the BBC in 2017.
With a winner taking home the coveted GBBO trophy every year, it is hard to keep track of their baking escapades.
But thankfully we’ve got a list of all your favourite The Great British Bake Off contestants and where they are now.
Rahul Mandal (2018)
Rahul fast became a national treasure last year when his overly-modest character made an endearing contrast to usual television contestants. Despite having a few near-disasters – we all remember the glass that shattered into his mixture in the final – Rahul baked his way to victory.
Dr Rahul Mandal has since returned to his work as an engineering researcher at University of Sheffield’s Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and recently led a campaign to encourage more women into the engineering field.
We haven’t seen much from the 2018 champion in terms of baking, but he keeps fans up-to-date with his creations on Instagram.
Sophie Faldo (2017)
Sophie Faldo didn’t quite get the surprise victory that she deserved after judge Prue Leith accidentally tweeted that she had won hours before the final had aired on television. Regardless, Sophie pulled out some of the greatest showstoppers of the season, including her iconic Ode to the Honey Bee cake which snatched her the bake off victory.
The 2017 winner has had mixed successes in the aftermath of her time on the show. She revealed that she earned very little during and after filming wrapped, leaving her financially unstable and struggling with life in the limelight. She now mainly avoids media attention and is training to be a stunt woman. That said, Sophie does pursue her passion for baking, sharing her impressive cakes on Instagram.
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Candice Brown (2016)
Known as much for her baking as her iconic lipstick colours, ex-PE teacher Candice was a deserving champion. The star said that her baking was inspired by her Grandma, who must have made quite an impact because Candice created some stunning bakes.
Unlike her successors, Candice has stayed firmly in the baking limelight. Her regular column in the Sunday Times, and her own book, Comfort: Delicious Bakes and Family Treats, have been the cherry on top of her Bake Off victory. She has also made numerous TV appearances on daytime TV shows including Loose Women and a (very) brief appearance on Dancing on Ice, in which she was the first to be eliminated. Well, you can’t be good at everything.
She now owns and runs The Green Man pub in Eversholt, Bedfordshire.
Nadiya Hussain (2015)
There really has been no stopping Nadiya, the crème de la crème of Great British Bake Off champions, who took the 2015 crown after creating an incredible sari-inspired wedding cake. Not only was she an impressive baker, but the nation fell in love with her passion, and catchy sense of humour.
Her natural aptitude in front of a camera paved the way for a career as a host on a number of cookery-related TV shows including Nadiya’s British Food Adventure, Nadiya’s Family Favourites, and The Chronicles of Nadiya. The baker also has a Sunday Times column and an award-winning children’s book, Bake Me a Story.
Nadiya was named as one of the 500 most influential people in the UK in 2017 both for her book and TV outreach, and also after praise for improving Muslim relations in Britain.
Nancy Birtwhistle (2014)
There aren’t too many amateur bakers out there who could successfully create a miniature version of Paris’ Moulin Rouge, so there was no way Nancy didn’t deserve to take home the trophy. She beat 2014 favourite Richard Burr, in a surprise final.
The grandmother of eight keeps a regular baking blog where she shares hints, tips, and recipes.
You can also run into this enthusiastic baker at the many food demonstrations that she does – from primary school children, to the elderly on a cruise ship. For Nancy, the Great British Bake Off really has provided some amazing opportunities.
Frances Quinn (2013)
In a difficult-to-call final, in which all three contestants whisked up some masterpieces, and let some of their bakes sink like a soggy soufflé, Frances Quinn came out victorious. The fashion designer won the judges over with her three-tier wedding cake, which showcased her flair for style in baking.
The 2013 winner has pursued a career in both disciplines outside of the limelight. Frances released her recipe book, Quintessential Baking, in 2015, which she describes as bringing the ‘magic’ into baking. She has made some radio and TV appearances, but largely keeps baking fans updated via her blog.
John Whaite (2012)
Wow remember back in the days when The Great British Bake off only had viewing figures of about 5 million? Neither do we. But it was during the shows early years that John took the trophy, joining the final as an underdog, but managing to bake his way up the ladder.
For the six years following his victory, the young champion pursued a career in food. He gained his patisserie diploma from Le Cordon Bleu, released cookbooks, and appeared regularly on ITV’s Lorraine. Perhaps his greatest baking achievement was opening up his very own Lancashire-based cookery school, John Whaite’s Kitchen.
But he switched the whisks for the wig, to follow a career in justice and become a barrister. We first met John when he was training for his LLB law degree, so this multi-talented lawyer, turned-baker, turned-lawyer has come full circle.
Jo Wheatley (2011)
We met mum-of-three Jo Wheatley back in 2011 as the family-orientated, loveable baker who, despite bursting into tears at every criticism, claimed victory.
Not only is she now a mum of three, but she is also a much-loved Grandma. This baking champion followed her passion and a successful career in the world of cupcakes and edible glitter. Jo has released two cookbooks, A Passion for Baking, and Home Baking, and also runs her own local cookery school from her home in Essex. She regularly updates her blog, Jo’s Blue Aga, with recipes.
You can follow her on Instagram at @jowheatleybakes
Edd Kimber (2010)
Imagine the Bake Off but with only 10 contestants, lasting just six weeks, and with no weekly star baker. The Great British Bake Off has changed a lot since it first hit our screens on BBC2, with only 2.2 million viewers.
But we haven’t forgotten the very first champion, ex-debt collector Edd Kimber. The author of three cookbooks, and owner of a food blog, The Boy Who Bakes, Edd has forged a successful flour and sugar-based career. The pro-baker is a regular contributor to food magazines including BBC Good Food, Delicious, and Waitrose Kitchen. He also did a stint as a resident baker on Alan Titchmarsh’s cookery show in 2014 and worked at Le Manoir, Raymond Blanc’s world-renowned restaurant. It’s safe to say his debt-collecting days are long gone.
The Great British Bake Off 2019 begins on 27th August 2019 and continues every Tuesdays at 8pm on Channel 4
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