David Atherton, an international health adviser from London, was named the winner of the tenth series of ‘The Great British Bake Off’ in the final episode, which aired on Channel 4 on Tuesday (October 29).
Over 10 weeks, judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith assessed the efforts of 13 amateur bakers who faced 30 challenges, from making angel cakes to scored bread, Indian milk desserts to custard pies, and Sarawak layer cakes to vertical pies.
In the final episode, the three remaining bakers were set three challenges that tested every aspect of their baking prowess. In the signature challenge, they had to show if their chocolate cake was decadent enough and full of flavour, and then their skills were tested with twice-baked stilton soufflés in the technical challenge. Finally, for the showstopper challenge, they had to create a stunning visual illusion picnic basket using only cake, sweet bread and biscuits.
Commenting on his achievement, David said: “It feels so good. It’s been weeks and weeks of intensity and fatigue and then to finish it with this! I saved the best till last, and it’s the best feeling in the world. Week on week other people were stronger… and yet I just managed to get through.
“All of it is a bit surreal, and I’m still trying to process it, but the whole Bake Off journey is non-stop and part of it is just having the stamina. Thousands of bakers apply every year, and everyone who gets into the tent is an exceptional baker. I’ve had daydreams of winning Bake Off for about 10 years. I didn’t imagine for one micro second that I would get to the final, let alone win it. It’s just unreal. I really enjoyed every episode.”
He added that the show’s presenters Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding were “really the biggest surprise for me. They are so warm and so supportive, which I didn’t expect. They are both so empathetic; they know when to hug you and when to have a banter. They aren’t judges but they can judge the moment perfectly – they can read us all so well.”
At the end of Tuesday’s episode, Paul said: “David came in as probably the underdog into the final. He has gone from nothing to winning the whole thing. It’s priceless: he should be really proud of himself. I think he has done an amazing job.”
Prue added: “David is an extraordinary baker and I’m so full of admiration for him. Right from the beginning he has never lost his temper – he has always been very neat and organised. It was really a question of the tortoise catching the hare; he just steadily went on and won!”
David and all the bakers will join TV presenter Jo Brand on ‘The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice’ today (Friday November 1) at 8pm on Channel 4.
Judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith with 2019 winner David Atherton (middle)