James Morton (baker)

James Patrick Bowie Morton (born 26 May 1991) is a Scottish doctor, celebrity baker, author and reality television contestant, based in Glasgow, who rose to fame when he became the runner up on the third series of The Great British Bake Off.

James Patrick Bowie Morton
James Morton

(1991-05-26) 26 May 1991
ResidenceGlasgow, Scotland
EducationUniversity of Glasgow
OccupationAuthor, baker, doctor
Years active2012–present
Known forThe Great British Bake Off
Brilliant Bread
Home townHillswick, Shetland
Parent(s)Tom Morton
RelativesMartha Morton

Early life

James Morton was born in Inverness, Scotland, but from the age of three grew up in the Shetland Islands. He was introduced to baking by his maternal grandmother, who taught him after school each day.[1] He is the son of journalist and former Radio Scotland radio presenter Tom Morton.


The Great British Bake Off

In the first Summer of his medical degree at the University of Glasgow, Morton worked washing dishes at a small Glasgow deli. A keen bread baker already, here he was exposed to the wide variation of bread production and results. From then on, he studied baking as a science rather than a craft, often preferring to read peer-review cereal journals than cookbooks. He watched The Great British Bake Off (Series 2) during 2011 and decided to apply after pressure from his university friends.[2]

During Morton's subsequent appearance on the show, he reached the final with bakes such as an "oak-framed Gingerbread Barn" and "double Paris-Brest Choux pastry Bicycle," eventually losing out to winner John Whaite.

Morton participated in the Bake Off's 2016 Xmas Special show, leading for much of the show but losing out to Chetna Makan after a series of errors in the showstopper round.

After Bake Off

Morton has amassed a large following on Twitter and founded a popular baking blog. He began writing a regular column in the "7 Days" supplement of the Sunday Mail newspaper in early 2013. He regularly composes comment and recipes for a wide variety of online and print publications.[3] He has been a guest celebrity on numerous television shows, including Sunday Brunch and Big Fat Quiz of the Year.[4] In October 2013, he was a guest presenter on RBS: Finding Scotland’s Real Heroes and he tours Scotland with his bread demonstration shows "James Morton Kneads to Raise Some Dough" and "James Morton’s Stollen Christmas", taking them to large festivals such as Dundee Flower and Food Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

He released his first book, Brilliant Bread, in August 2013, published by Ebury Publishing. It received a nomination for the best cookbook at the 2013 André Simon Awards[5] and winning the Guild of Food Writers Award 2014 for best cookbook.[6] His second book, How Baking Works (and what to do when it doesn't), was released on 12 March 2015.


As well as his career as a baker, Morton graduated from the University of Glasgow with a degree in medicine and has begun work as a junior doctor in the NHS.[7]


  • Brilliant Bread (2013)
  • How Baking Works (and what to do when it doesn't) (2015)
  • Brew: The Foolproof Guide to Making World-Class Beer at Home (2016)
  • Shetland: Cooking at the Edge of the World (2018)
  • ”Super Sourdough” (2019)


  1. Dingwall, John. "Great British Bake Off star James Morton says he has no plans to quit his medicine degree despite his TV success", The Daily Record, Glasgow, 25 August 2013. Retrieved on 25 August 2013.
  2. Runcie, Charlotte. "Great British Bake Off star James Morton on balancing full-time study with baking bread", The List (magazine), Glasgow, 6 September 2013. Retrieved on 9 September 2013.
  3. Eames, Tom. "'Great British Bake Off': James Morton lambasts online haters", Digital Spy, London, 22 October 2013. Retrieved on 25 October 2013.
  4. Channel 4. "Scrapbook for Sunday Brunch", Sunday Brunch, London, 28 September 2013. Retrieved on 28 October 2013.
  5. Robinson, Jancis. "Andre Simon 2013 Shortlist", UK, December 2013
  6. Guild of Food Writers. GFW Awards 2014 Winners June 2014
  7. Handley, Emily. "From chemistry to cronuts: The rise of the student baker", The Independent, London, 8 October 2013. Retrieved on 25 October 2013.
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