Student rises to top with Bake Off win

Edinburgh student Peter Sawkins has been crowned winner of the 2020 Great British Bake Off.

Young male, with light brown hair, wearing a blue shirt and a brown apron, looking into the camera and smiling.

The 20-year-old triumphed in what the judges described as the closest final in the TV show’s 11 year history.

At its peak, more than 10 million people tuned in to see Peter master Cranachan custard slices, struggle through walnut whirls, and whip up a ‘Bonkers Bonkers Bake Off Bubble Cake’ showstopper.

'Absolute dream'

Peter, who is in his third year studying Accounting and Finance, is the show’s first ever Scottish winner. He is also its youngest ever victor.

It's an absolute dream - I was really pleased with how I managed to step through all the challenges. I feel in a really privileged position because of course there will be some opportunities that arise from this, and it would be amazing to try and explore them, but at the same time I am going to keep on going with my degree, so I'm in a nice position.

Peter Sawkins

Hollywood handshake

Peter won the show's star baker prize twice during the series and impressed the judges throughout, receiving a coveted handshake from judge Paul Hollywood after making a perfect Savarin cake.

Do you know I am terribly proud of Peter and I feel as if he is my grandson. He is such a nice guy and he is so eager to learn, you can't not like him.

Prue LeithJudge and cook

After his win, he said he planned to continue his studies alongside his baking. He also the University’s Badminton Club President.

He watched Tuesday's final with his flatmates in Edinburgh, two of whom did not know he had won.

Superstar baker

Peter's tutors have been swift to react to the triumph. 

I am absolutely thrilled with the news, what an impressive achievement! Peter’s standards are very high. He was top in my Introduction to Financial Markets course and successfully completed with the highest score amongst our students one of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investments examinations. He is very pleasant, diligent, very capable and committed to his studies. A super star Accounting & Finance student and a super star baker now! Warmest congratulations Peter and very best of luck with your studies and for your next adventure, I am so proud of you!

Dr Maria MichouSenior Lecturer in Finance, University of Edinburgh Business School 

It's been a delight to see Peter achieve his title on TV and teach him this semester.  Clearly his diligence and precision is a recipe for success on screen and in class!  Congratulations, Peter!

Elisa Henderson Lecturer in Accounting

Whow! What an amazing life affirming achievement.  Peter has reminded all of us just what can happen when you believe in yourself, follow your passion and commit to stepping out of your comfort zone and pursue your dreams. Just what we all needed during these difficult times. Throughout the series and in his wonderful creations, his deep knowledge and imagination, methodical execution, calm and relaxed demeanour and empathy for his fellow contestants have shone through showing us and the world just what a fantastic young Scottish man and baker he has become.  Our pride in what Peter has achieved and how this experience has transformed him knows no bounds! 

Professor Mary BrennanDirector of Undergraduate Programmes, University of Edinburgh Business School

Related links

The Great British Bake Off

Study Accounting and Finance


(Picture credit: Channel 4/Love Productions)