In a finale that was watched by an average of 14 million people, Candice Brown was named the winner of The Great British Bake Off 2016.
Just a few weeks later, after a press tour with fellow finalists Jane Beedle and Andrew Smyth, Candice announced that she had returned to her job as a PE teacher, insisting that her life had remained very “normal” despite her newfound fame.
Now, however, she has made the “agonising” decision to put her teaching career on hold, in a bid to pursue her baking dreams.
“Never in a million years did I ever go into the show thinking this would happen,” she told The Belfast Telegraph. “That is why I have been back at school teaching since I won the final.
“I have been teaching for about eight years now and I love it. But since winning the final, I have also been completely bowled over by the amazing opportunities that I have been offered.
“At first, I kept telling the school I would stay until December but they were so incredible and told me I had to grab everything whilst I could.”
The Bake Off star, who works closely with children who have special needs, continued: “My headteacher told me: ‘You've got to do this, you can't do it half-heartedly. I wouldn't forgive myself if you missed out. It's not that we don't want you here but you have to give it 100%. If we can't encourage our staff to follow their dreams and inspire, then we are not doing our job properly. You are showing the kids that anything is possible.’”
Despite admitting she is worried about what will come next, Candice added that she is counting her lucky stars that she has been so inundated with offers since being crowned this year’s GBBO winner.
As such, she has signed up with a team of TV agents – and is looking forward to the next chapter in her career.
“I cannot thank everybody enough for giving me this amazing opportunity and for my school letting me grab it with both hands and running with it,” she said.
From a line of lipsticks to her own cookbook, Candice’s name has been linked to a number of projects – none of which has been confirmed.
And, as well as being touted as a possible replacement for Mary Berry on Channel 4’s Bake Off, it’s also been hinted that Candice and Jane could be set to team up for a baking road-trip TV show.
Speaking to Digital Spy about those rumours, she said: “[Jane and I] talk all the time about going to France.
“We've both got a love of France - and we just [thought] yeah it'd be really good.
“I love markets. I'd probably wind her up by buying something massive that wouldn't fit in the car and she'd moan at me. I'm sure we'll probably get a little trip away.
“We speak about it all the time - and all the other bakers as well! It could be a really good giggle.”
When asked if she fancied her own solo cooking show – in a similar vein to that of Bake Off’s Nadiya Hussain and her two-part BBC special The Chronicles of Nadiya – Candice remained coy.
“At the moment I've got no idea! I don't think my feet have touched the ground,” she said.
“I'm struggling to remember my own name, I think!”
Who can blame her? It sounds as if the future’s bright (and filled with baked treats) for Candice Brown.