Oh, victory tastes so sweet.
The U.K. competition TV series Great British Bake Off (known as the Great British Baking Show here in the U.S.) aired its season 10 finale this week, and David Atherton was crowned as the latest winner of the extremely polite, extremely popular baking contest.
In the season finale, which began streaming stateside on Netflix at midnight Friday after airing in the U.K. on Tuesday, Atherton was up against fellow bakers Alice Fevronia and Steph Blackwell for their last signature and technical challenges. The contest capped off with an intense showstopper that directed them to recreate a picnic basket (and its contents!) out of cakes and biscuits.
Atherton is a health adviser and former volunteer nurse, but he decided to take his personal passion for baking a step further by joining the Great British Bake Off. He was considered an underdog in the competition, having never taken home the title of Star Baker (given to each episode’s outstanding baker). Fevronia and Blackwell were awarded Star Baker twice and four times, respectively.
“Just getting to the final was a win for me, so this is just unreal,” Atherton said, later quipping, “Just saved the best till last, that’s all I had.”
Judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood praised Atherton’s performance in the final, with Hollywood calling his win “priceless.” Hollywood, echoing what so many viewers were also thinking, asked Atherton what he would be up to next — but the newly-minted winner was at a loss for words.
Great British Bake Off champions and former contestants often go on to write their own cookbooks and newspaper columns, make TV appearances, and open their own bakeries, restaurants, and cooking schools. According to The Sun, some former winners take even more unique paths after the show: season 7 winner Candice Brown made a return to reality television on the British ice-skating competition Dancing on Ice, and season 6 champ Nadiya Hussain was commissioned to make Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday cake. As past winners have shown, the sky's the limit — and it’s a lesson Atherton is taking to heart.
“It's almost exactly 12 months since I applied for Bake Off and this was never in the plan. I didn't think I'd get through the auditions and now I'm writing this as the winner of series 10,” Atherton wrote in an Instagram caption this week. “Can people just go for it please, apply for things, push boundaries, but through it all be kind and be yourself.”
Atherton has not announced what he will be up to next, but he’s bound to be cooking up something good.
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Wow, wow, wow, can someone explain to me what just happened? It's almost exactly 12 months since I applied for Bake Off and this was never in the plan. I didn't think I'd get through the auditions and now I'm writiing this as the winner of series 10. Can people just go for it please, apply for things, push boundaries, but through it all be kind and be yourself. The real prize from this experience was making so many new friends. I know it sounds cheesy, but actually you need support, love and friendship otherwise all this is empty #reachfortheunreachable . . . . . #bakeoffwinner #greatbritishbakeoff #greatbritishbakingshow #cake #baking #british #homemade #bakingtime #bakingideas #instafood #gbbo #bakeoff #bake #lgbt #gay #lgbtqi+ #queer