GREAT British Bake Off winner David Atherton has revealed that he wants to start a family after helping children in war zones all over the world.

David Atherton, from Whitby in North Yorkshire, announced his engagement to partner Nikola Sariyski after proposing during a romantic trip to Bulgaria earlier this month.

The champion of last year’s Great British Bake Off has been helping children in war zones all over the world, working as an international health advisor for the UK aid backed charity Voluntary Service Overseas.

The couple have been together for three years and revealed they could be having the wedding in Scotland where they used to live.

Mr Atherton said: “We are so thrilled to be engaged and we’d like to start a family, which is obviously harder as a gay couple.

“There are a lot of misunderstandings about surrogacy, but there is a lot of support out there and we are also looking to adopt. I’d love to think we could give a child the chance of a new life.

“I’ve cared for children all over the world and Nik and I are so excited about the prospect of starting a family.”

He added: “We’ve no plans to get married while so many lockdowns are in place. It’s not a good time to try and organise any event, but we both have good links with Scotland.

“Nik left Bulgaria aged 18 and came straight to Scotland, where he studied at St Andrews and then lived for a time in Edinburgh.

“My twin brother studied medicine at Edinburgh University, so I visited a lot and just loved being there. I moved up in 2009 for about three years and worked in intensive care at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary at the same time as doing my Masters degree in global public health at Edinburgh University.”

David has confessed that his relationship with Nik and hopes to start a family are making him feel less gung-ho about his foreign adventures.

He said: “Having been evacuated from two wars and had malaria nine times, definitely helped me handle the pressure on Bake Off. I was able to keep things in perspective and kept reminding myself that even if my pastry was soggy, or my cake didn’t rise ¬properly, I’ve coped with more serious situations.

“I think the scariest time was being evacuated by British special forces in a Hercules from the Ivory Coast. There were bombs going off all around and the windows smashed in our house.

“If there’s bother, I’d always switch into a mode where I think ‘Okay, this is a horrible situation, your mind might be racing, but you’re not going to do your job or help anyone if you freak out.’ When I’m back in the UK afterwards I’d think ‘Oh, I can’t believe I did that’.

“I’ve always been very adventurous, but I have to say that perhaps now that I’ve settled down with someone I love and want to start a family, those kinds of things terrify me.”

David’s work through the Volunteering for Development programme is funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “I am pleased that David has continued his amazing work with VSO following his success on Bake Off.”