Underdog David Atherton has been crowed winner of The Great British Bake Off after an emotional final.
He saw off competition from four-time star baker Steph Blackwell, and the steady talent of Alice Fevronia, who were left in tears during a stressful climax to the show.
David stunned Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith with his showstopper, and was the only contestant to present a serviceable souffle.
Steph was reduced to tears, saying “I just feel a bit stupid” after her own effort collapsed into liquid, and was given a hug by Hollywood after her showstopper was badly received.
Alice was left crying at the thought that her family might not arrive to see her finish the show.
David remained stress-free in the final, and wanted to enjoy the long process which has led to victory,
He 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 ’til last, and it’s the best feeling in the world.
“Honestly it was never in my mind that I thought I could win this, I have had daydreams of winning Bake Off for about 10 years.
“I really enjoyed every episode in the tent and I never felt that I was flaky throughout the whole series, although I did feel very nervous at the final which was unlike me.
“I felt the pressure in the tent but I just didn’t get stressed, I did feel nervous but I didn’t let it get to me. I wanted to enjoy myself rather than having any negative feelings.”
Contestants were asked to craft a chocolate cake to a professional standard in the signature.
David’s rune and Armanganc creation was deemed “too boozy”, Alice was praised for her flavours, and Steph impressed in the first challenge.
The competition favourite after numerous star baker wins struggled in the technical, and was reduced to tears after failing to set her souffles, with Noel Fielding saying her sudden dip in form in the final was “heartbreaking”.
Alice was also emotional, fearing her parents would not make it from Ireland to see her.
David was named the winner of the challenge, and continued to impress with his picnic basket showstopper, with classic snacks created from cake, biscuit, and bread.
Steph received a conciliatory cuddle from Hollywood, who told her “it doesn’t matter” after criticising her own final offering.
The judge said of the Bake Off winner David: “Well done mate, you smashed it.
“David came in as probably the underdog into the final knowing that twice Alice has won and Steph won four times.
“He has gone from nothing to win the whole thing; it’s priceless, absolutely priceless, he should be really proud of himself. I think he has done an amazing job.”
Prue Leith added: “David is an extraordinary baker and I am 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 Jo Brand on The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice on November 1 at 8.00 pm on Channel 4.