Great British Bake Off winner Candice Brown poses for the first time with the two men in her life – her boyfriend Liam Macaulay and their pampered pug Dennis - in an exclusive photoshoot and interview only in HELLO!. Since her triumphant win the 31-year-old has returned to her day job as a PE teacher – and reveals that her pupils have been ribbing her about her TV win. "When I went into school after the final was on TV the kids went: 'Why are you in, miss? You're a millionaire!'" she laughs. "I was like, 'No I'm not,' and stood outside eating my school dinner on duty in the cold." The school was hugely supportive of her, and she explained: "The head said to me, 'If we can't encourage teachers to follow dreams then we're not setting an example to kids and we may as well all just go and get an office job."
Ahead of announcing her engagement to her beau of four and a half years, who she met in a pub, Candice says: "We'll get married one day but there's no rush. We'll have kids too… Family is very important to us both... We want it all… We'll have kids, too. We've got that furry one at the minute and he's good practice for us – probably harder work than a baby sometimes. But family is very important to us both and our parents will be amazing grandparents."
The baker praises Liam for keeping her grounded during her whirlwind rise to fame. "I'm really, really lucky. I'm a real family girl and everything revolves around that aspect of my life. Liam is my biggest support and he tells me if things aren't quite right. He picks me up and dusts me down if he needs to. But he also tells me every day that he's so proud of me." Speaking about how they first met, she said: "I might have kept going into the bar for a good few weeks, trying to subtly – as subtle as a brick – get his attention. I love most about him because we just work. I understand him and he understands me. We work better when we’re together and we have trust. Trust in everything – I trust his opinion and what he says." Liam is also a pretty great cook as well, according to Candice! She said: "I love cooking big old homely meals – massive shepherd’s pies, roasts – but Liam has more finesse and he’s really good at steak. And obviously he’s ridiculously gorgeous."
Chatting about meeting famous faces after winning the Bake Off, Candice said: "Fearne Cotton came running over and gave me a huge hug and said, ‘Oh, I really liked watching you,’ so that made me feel better. I met Ant and Dec, who were so funny, but I was most starstruck by Geri Horner and Emma Bunton. I've loved the Spice Girls since I was younger and they asked to have a picture with me and Mary Berry. I was like, 'It's the new Spice Girls – the four of us.' I also spoke to Jamie Oliver, who's lovely. We talked about his kids and him being a new dad again. It was great."