Just when I thought I'd found something to soothe my Love Island blues, tonight marks the end of The Great British Bake Off. While I feel like crying into a Victoria Sponge, I'm also super excited to find out who will win 2019's Bake Off. It's also the perfect time to reminisce on past contestants, and what they've gotten up to since winning the coveted Bake Off cake stand. So where are all the past Bake Off winners now?
It might be hard to believe, but Bake Off has been going since 2010. Despite moving across three different broadcasters, it's remained relatively consistent throughout it's run. Sure, there's been a slight change in judges and presenters across its journey, but boy has it seen some talented bakers over the years. Since it premiered, Bake Off has created eight winners that blew the nation away with their signature, technical, and showstopper challenges.
Judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith will soon be adding a ninth winner to that list, choosing between Alice Fervronia, David Atherton, and Steph Blackwell. I seriously can't deal with the anticipation. But what have all the past Bake Off winners been up to while the UK has been devouring the latest series?
Joanne Wheatley (Series 2)
Since Joanne Wheatley's win, she's set up a cookery school from her home in Essex, which was listed in The Guardian's Top Five UK Baking Schools. The baker currently runs a blog called Jo's Blue AGA, where you can find all her recipes and also restaurant and travel reviews.
Wheatley was also a recipe columnist for Sainsbury's magazine between 2013 and 2014. She also contributes to The Sun, The Mirror, BBC Good Food Magazine, and Hello Magazine.
John Whaite (Series 3)
"Because of the next batch of Bake Off stars emerged, my appeal shrank," he told The Telegraph. "Year on year, the working days became fewer and financial offers were smaller. The life to which I had become accustomed slowly dissolved."
"Some days I'd wish I had never been on the show, because in reality, it totally derailed me from my steady lifepath".
He eventually found the strength to find himself again and re-emerge, and has since renovated a barn on his family farm and opened a cookery school. "I stopped caring about the 'celebrity' side of my career and focused more on the substantial part of it: the food writer and chef."
Frances Quinn (Series 4)
Since being crowned the series four Bake Off winner, Frances Quinn has gone on to bake "for the illustrator Quentin Blake, presenter Clare Balding, [...] and the Tate's Matisse Exhibition," as The Telegraph writes.
She also published her first cookbook in 2015, aptly titled Quinntesential Baking. Quinn continues to share her fantastic sketchbook recipes on her Instagram, where she mixes baking and design together to "produce unique and edible designs", as she writes on her blog.
Nancy Birtwhistle (Series 5)
Nancy Birtwhistle currently shares her "more than 500 recipes" alongside a plethora of kitchen tips on her website. She's visited food and cookery shows across the UK, and has taught "very small select groups" of people of all ages.
Birtwhistile has also written for the The Telegraph, and her first book Sizzle & Drizzle was published just last Friday (Oct. 25).
She's since become an avid user of Instagram, where she regularly takes questions from her followers and now considers herself as "a sort of Kitchen Agony Aunt."
Nadiya Hussain (Series 6)
Out of all the Bake Off winners, Nadiya Hussain has had one hell of a busy career since leaving the tent. After releasing her first cookbook Nadiya's Kitchen in 2016, she has since gone on to publish three more cookbooks alongside two children's cookbooks, two fictional books, and a memoir. Two of her books were accompanied by a complementary series on the BBC.
Candice Brown (Series 7)
After winning the seventh series of Bake Off, Candice Brown released a cookbook titled Comfort: Delicious Cakes & Family Treats. Since then, Brown now runs The Green Man Pub in Eversholt, Bedfordshire with her brother, according to the Mirror.
"I don't shy away from hard work, and I never wanted to just lend my name and then disappear," she told Hello magazine (via the Mirror). "Sometimes people do recognise me and look shocked when I deliver their puddings personally."
Brown occasionally cooks on ITV's This Morning, and was also a contestant on Dancing on Ice last yer but was the first to be eliminated.
Sophie Faldo (Series 8)
Sophie Faldo now runs her own business, Sophie Faldo Cakes, where she creates wedding cakes and desserts for special events. Her recipes have been featured in several publications, including The Telegraph, The Sunday Times, Radiot Times, and delicious. magazine.
She was also shortlisted for The Women of the Future Awards last year, and was given a special commendation in the Media category.
Faldo did have a cookbook in the works in 2018 titled Something Sweet, but she is reportedly reworking it after splitting from her management. Earlier this year, she appeared alongside Spanish food vlogger Abraham Bandera Baez for the Insight TV series Travel With A Goat.
Rahul Mandal (Series 9)
After winning last year's Bake Off, the adorable Rahul Mandal has actually returned to his previous occupation "as an engineering researcher at [the] University of Sheffield's Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre", as Radio Times reports.
This doesn't mean he's stopped baking, as he regularly posts his creations on social media. He's yet to release a cookbook, but he's had numerous TV appearances since his win and has amassed nearly 150k followers on Instagram.
You can follow Mandal on Instagram.