Entertainment & Arts

Great British Bake Off winner is crowned

Law student John Whaite has won the third series of BBC Two's the Great British Bake Off.

The 23-year-old beat fellow bakers Brendan Lynch and James Morton in Tuesday night's final, after baking a "Heaven and Hell" chiffon cake.

He said the pressure of completing his law degree while taking part in the competition spurred him on to win.

"If I hadn't been in the middle of the degree, I'm not sure I would have won," he said.

A peak audience of 7.2 million people watched him take the title, making The Great British Bake Off the most-watched show in its timeslot, with 25% of the total TV audience.

The final challenge of the show ended in a fete with the other contestants attending.

Each of the three finalists had to create a puff pastry pie called a pithivier, fondant fancies and chiffon sponges.

Wigan-born Whaite, who was recently awarded a first-class honours degree from Manchester University told the BBC that baking "helps me academically".

"It gives you time to think and it also takes your mind off [studying] for a while," he said.

"It was tough though. 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."

Since completing the show, he has been saving up to go to Paris, where he plans to train as a Patissier.

The BBC Two show is presented by Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins alongside judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.

It has been a break-out success for the channel. Last week's semi-final pulled in 5.6 million viewers, beating Holby City on BBC One.

Whaite also credited presenting duo Mel and Sue for some of his success.

"I don't think I could have done so well without them.

"When something goes wrong they come up and give you a cuddle or crack a joke to relieve the tension, it's like having a little friend on your shoulder."

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