Bake Off champ John Whaite says his life ‘derailed’ after winning show

Former Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite has penned a compelling account of the highs and incredible lows that followed his 2012 victory.

In an article for The Daily Telegraph , John, 23, says he was swamped with career and financial opportunities after his win.

Detailing his nerve-wracking first dealings with a literary John says, “I was on platform one at London Euston after a meeting.

“My hand sweated and fumbled as I opened the email and waited for what felt like an hour for the text to download.

“I had been offered a six-figure deal to write two cookery books. Six figures, at just 23. I squealed on the platform and rang my mum.”

John was offered a six-figure sum for two books

But the joy was short-lived, as John describes how “the demon of over-estimated self-value began to percolate into my soul.”

For a time John raked in big money offers but the following year a new winner of the baking show had been decided.

“As the next batch of Bake Off starts emerged, my appeal shrank,” explains John.

“Year on year, the working days became smaller and financial offers were smaller. The life to which I had become accustomed slowly dissolved.”

The show is hosted by Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding, with judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith
(Image: Love Productions)

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John even admits that he had days where he wished he’d never done the show at all, as he was drinking too much and making poor choices on social media.

It’s not all doom and gloom though – singing his parents’ praises for reminding him of the importance of thriftiness, John had saved enough to redo a barn on his family’s farm.

That’s where he started his cookery school, and soon enough he’d found a smaller publisher who would allow John to focus on the food, rather than the celebrity.

John admits that he would definitely do it again, but very differently.

He advises: “Most importantly don’t let yourself be diluted by it all.

“The person you were before the show is the best version of you; that’s the person you were always supposed to be.”

John and his family recently went through hell after his sister disappeared in Portugal as a result of a complex mental health issue.

The Great British Bake Off airs on Channel 4 Tuesday at 8pm

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