The First Winners – Where Are They Now?

Like many other game shows, The Great British Bake Off (a.k.a The great British pastry fair) turned its contestants into mainstream celebrities, giving them the right opportunity to show off their culinary abilities. It won’t be surprising to see some of the show’s winners establish full-time careers as chefs or write popular cookbooks.

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Some even went on to appear on dance reality TV shows while others ventured into podcasts, cooking schools, newspaper columns, and more. Overall, the winners of the first 10 seasons have settled into various careers without ever giving up on their mutual love for baking.


Edward “Edd” Kimber

Edd Kimber smiling

From bank collection agent to full-time writer, Edd Kimber’s life has been turned upside down with some of the best recipes ever made in The Great British Bake Off. Since his victory, he has written four books, Say it with a cake, The Boy Who Bakes, Patisserie Made Simple and A baked pewter, all of which opened to positive reviews. He was also resident chef for The Alan Titchmarsh Show for a brief period.

He currently hosts the “Stir The Pot” podcast where he interviews chefs and food writers. According to his Instagram biographyhe is also an ambassador for British plant-based food and drink company Alpro.

Joanne “Jo” Wheatley

Jo Wheatley smiling on the cover of her book A Passion for Baking

Among some of the best competitors of all time on Ee Great British Bake Off, Joanne Wheatley was crowned the winner. She then opened her own cooking school while writing two cookbooks, A passion for pastry and home baking. Just like her predecessor Ed Kimber, she too appeared on The Alan Titchmarsh Show for cooking demonstrations.

Unfortunately, her personal life wasn’t as smooth as her husband. Richard was sentenced to seven years in prison based on a money laundering scheme. They had three sons together. Wheatley continues to write columns for publications like The mirror, the sunand BBC Good Food Magazine.

John Waithe

John Waithe in Strictly Come Dancing

After winning The Great British Bake Off in 2012, John Waithe established his eponymous cooking school four years later. Irish News reports that this school was actually a family barn in Lancashire 400 years ago. He has also written five cookbooks so far. TV appearances have also been frequent with non-competitive cooking shows like Lorraine, this morning, what’s cookingand Sunday Brunch.

However, apart from the aforementioned shows, Waithe explored a completely different business in 2021 as he appeared on the dance show Come dance strictly. Appearing as a contestant alongside partner Paul Atkins, he became the season 19 runner-up.

Frances Quinn

Frances Quinn holding her chin and looking aside

Childrenswear designer and baker Frances Quinn has had several high-profile clients in her post-Great British Bake Off career. She has cooked for the illustrator behind Roald Dahl’s books Quentin Blake, pianist Jools Holland and the Wimbledon Tennis Club. His media appearances include a stint in Unnecessary celebrities alongside 2014 Great British Bake Off finalist Richard Burr. She has also published a cookbook titled Cooking par excellence.

However, a 2020 incident affected her public persona as she was banned from Waitrose supermarkets for shoplifting. The Independent declares that it has admitted the claims and that the matter has been resolved by a community resolution.

Nancy Birtwhistle

Split footage of Nancy Birtwhistle tending to a plant in a garden and the cover of a book written by her

The oldest winner of The Great British Bake Off was previously Practice Director at GP Surgery. After winning season 5, Nancy Birtwhistle still lives with her husband Tim in his home in Barton-Upon-Humber.

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But professionally, a lot of things have changed. She wrote the cookbook Sizzle & Drizzle: Tips for the Modern Housewife and the home organization book Clean & Green: 101 tips and Tips for a greener home. As well as giving baking demonstrations across the UK, Birtwhistle has also contributed articles to UK newspapers like The Daily Telegraph. Her official site continues to update her fans with developments in her life.

Nadiya Hussain

Nadiya smiling after winning GBBS

Nadiya Hussain has been one of the most popular bakers on The Great British Bake Off. While other winners have had their share of cookbooks, Hussain also penned the novel The fictional lives of the Amir sisterschildren’s books Bake Me A Story by Nadiya, and Nadiya’s Bake Me a Festive Storyand his autobiography find my voice. His self-titled TV shows include Nadiya’s Chronicles, Nadiya’s British Culinary Adventure, Nadiya’s Family Favorites, Nadiya Bakesand Nadiya’s Quick Flavors.

Her date with British royalty began when she baked the official cake for Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday in 2016. Then, as part of the 2020 New Year honors, Hussain was also named Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to “Audiovisual and Culinary Arts”.

Candice Brown

After winning the seventh series, Candice Brown quit her job as a physical education teacher and began pursuing cooking as a full-time passion. The result was two cookbooks Comfort food: delicious pastries and family treats and Good food. Occasional television appearances included This morning as well as a passage on celebrity genius. She even won in this latest quiz show in a round dedicated to Audrey Hepburn films.

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Her popularity skyrocketed even further when she appeared as a contestant in the tenth round of Dancing on the ice. The ITV series featured celebrities teaming up with professional skaters. In Brown’s case, she partnered with skater Matt Evers who appeared in every season of the show.

Sophie Faldo

Sophie Faldo standing in front of a kitchen counter

Sophie Faldo has had a lifetime of transitioning from British Army officer to full-time celebrity chef thanks to the show. By launching her own company Sophie Faldo Couture Cakes, she acts as a cake designer and event dessert caterer. As she indicates in the official company website“I can’t wait to make your dream cake a reality.”

Apart from her culinary activities, she starred in an episode of the Dutch show Travels with a Goat. Faldo traveled to Kenya for the episode with Spanish food vlogger Abraham Bandera Baez.

Rahul Mandal

Rahul Mandal holding a copy of a book

Engineering researcher Rahul Mandal won the ninth round of The Great British Bake Offafter which he was a columnist for The Times magazinethe Saturday supplement of The temperature. Occasional cooking appearances include the ITV series This morning who also invited several other Pastry shop competitors in the past.

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Due to his own engineering background, it wouldn’t be surprising to find Mandal as a self-proclaimed STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) ambassador. Like Rotherham Advertiser reported, Rahul Mandal’s campaign is trying to make engineering “cool” for kids. Mandal is involved in several universal schools and programs to spread scientific awareness.

David Atherton

David Atherton holding flowers and the cake stand after winning GBBS

David Atherton’s approach to food is one where fitness is a priority. This is reflected in his undertakings after winning The Great British Bake Off. His weekly column for The Guardian was aptly titled “Fit Food with David Atherton”. His first three cookbooks were aimed at young readers, titled My first cookbook, My first green cookbook, and Cooking, making and learning to cook.

His latest book was published in 2021 and aptly titled Good to eat. This once again reaffirms her lifestyle with healthy spins on classic recipes. Atherton came out gay a month after his Bake Off win and currently resides in south London with partner Nik Sariyski.

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