Candice Brown has had a tough year. Not only was she forced to close her pub during lockdown, a year to the day after opening it up following a refurbishment, but in June she announced her separation from husband of nearly two years, Liam Macauley.
When HELLO! met up with her at her first socially distanced public appearance since lockdown to promote Breville's new Barista range of coffee machines, she looked happy, absolutely stunning – and ready for 2021.
WATCH Candice Brown's special #HelloToKindness message
"You couldn't write it. It's been a real interesting one," she told HELLO! of 2020.
"What has been incredible is that people have gone, 'You know what, we do what we need to do and we keep going'. We had to do it with the pub. Again, I'll be doing takeaway coffee and cake, takeaway food, and people just adapt, and that's what they do.
"So it has been really hard but one of the things that has shined through is the kindness in people. You've seen that other side: people are helping each other out, people are doing things for each other but it's one of those years people will never forget. What a year," she admitted.
As for her pub, The Green Man, in Milton Keynes, and how she's coped, the 35-year-old heaped praise on her business partner, her brother Ben.
The former GBBO star was in high spirits at the Breville Barista event
"Me and my brother put too much into it to allow it to go under or go wrong, so I was doing all the cooking, my brother was doing the washing up and the delivery driving. His girlfriend was helping out answering the phone and that's what we did and every day we looked at it and went, 'Right, what do we do now?' and that's what we did and luckily we are back open at half capacity but again, just keep trying every day, try to keep it going."
January 2021 couldn't come soon enough for the former Great British Bake Off star, who admitted she is looking forward to doing two things in particular.
"I really want a holiday, I'll be fighting everybody. Can you imagine the airports when we are eventually allowed to go?
"But probably more than that is actually hugging my mum and dad because I still haven't done that yet," she said with a smile.
Candice spoke to HELLO! about lockdown and how she is doing what she can to save her pub
Before she jets off, however, she'll be glued to her TV, enjoying this year's GBBO.
"It was just great, what everyone needed," she said of the show's first episode, which aired on Tuesday night.
"Matt Lucas is just a genius addition to the team, very funny. Paul and Prue, just such a great match and I think how they dealt with it and how they managed to pull that off during this time… but actually, how they managed to do that shows how much people need Bake Off and it was great last night. I can't wait to meet the new bake off family. We are a little family," she confessed.