GBBO winner John Whaite reveals engagement to long-term partner Paul Atkins

Former Great British Bake Off champion John Whaite has announced his engagement to his partner of nearly 10 years, Paul Atkins.

The renowned baker and author of new recipe book Comfort Food to Soothe the Soul has taken to Instagram to announce the happy news.

A vocal advocate of marriage equality, he captioned the picture of himself and Paul looking suave in evening wear, ‘My true love. We’ve decided to get married. We’ve fought for these rights, and we shall use them.’

Fans of the couple have been quick to send messages of congratulations, with praise pouring in from friends and family too.

‘Well that’s cheered up a rainy Thursday. Huge congratulations,’ wrote one happy commenter, and another said, ‘Congratulations to you both – please send me a slice of the cake to end all cakes! xxx’.

A third wrote, ‘Yes John, your so lucky to be living in this day and age. By being in love and wanting to make it official, it’s also a thank you to all those men many years of fighting for their and your rights.’

John rose to fame after winning the 2012 series of GBBO, alongside other hopefuls Brendan Lynch and James Morton – it was the first all male final and John won in what turned out to be a bit of a surprise result!

But it was his infectious personality and admirable dedication to promoting LGBTQ rights that won the affections of the nation, and he even recently appeared on the cover of the UK’s number 1 gay culture magazine Attitude with his now husband-to-be, Paul.

Back in 2012, a year after winning his title, John gave an interview to the popular lifestyle blog rucomingout.com in which he discussed his experiences of coming out and his hopes for the future.

‘I didn’t really know any gay people because it was still a bit of a touchy subject, especially being a working class northern lad – it wasn’t often discussed,’ he told the publication.

‘But I really admired my friends at drama who were all very “fabulous darling” and they really helped me through it.

‘I definitely want to marry Paul (my partner of five years – not Paul Hollywood!) because I adore him and respect him so much. I know I don’t want to be with anyone else and I have tested what else is out there! When it comes to cake, I’ll be making lots of our families’ favourites!’