John Whaite, a Manchester University law graduate, has been crowned king of the BBC's Great British Bake Off, after winning the final of the popular reality-TV cooking show.
Whaite (23) beat off competition from his two fellow finalists, Brendan Lynch (63) and James Morton (21), in last night's show, which was shown on BBC 2.
Speaking to the Mirror, Whaite said, "It was a massive surprise to hear my name. No matter how well you have done you always doubt yourself [...] it was such a huge shock and my legs did go to jelly [...] I think it was my "showstopper" which impressed them most.'
That "showstopper" – John's Heaven and Hell Chiffon Cake – was a cake of a dark-chocolate-and-orange base with lemon-and-coconut meringue cakelets on the top. According to the Daily Mail, the recipe runs to, "three A4 pages, involves 27 steps and includes 18 eggs, 1kg of sugar, 600g of dark chocolate and five sheets of gold leaf, and [Whaite] had little more than two hours to make it!"
Speaking to the BBC earlier today, the newly crowned "Cake King" said of his win, "If I hadn't been in the middle of the [law] degree, I'm not sure I would have won. [Baking] gives you time to think and it also takes your mind off [studying] for a while. [However] It was tough [...] I finished one exam on a Friday and went to Bristol to film the semi-final before getting home late on Sunday in time for another exam on Monday."
During the series, Whaite has gained a large following of fans on Twitter – currently approaching 37,000 followers.
John Whaite is openly gay and lives with his partner, Paul, in Manchester. As well as winning The Great British Bake Off 2012, Whaite also achieved a first-class honours law degree.
This is the third series of the baking-competition series. Ed Kimber won in 2010 and Joanne Wheatley in 2011. The show has gained in popularity, with viewing figures having peaked at 7.2 million for last night's final.
Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry are the judges on The Great British Bake Off, which is presented by Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc.