Why I won’t be watching the Great British Bake Off again

Just to clarify, this isn’t one of those teaser titles to draw you in and get more hits, this title pretty much tells it as it is – sadly, after last week’s show I’ve decided to stop watching Great British Bake Off.

As I was busy hosting my radio show on Wednesday, I missed the show and caught up with it on Sunday – if like me you also missed it, you probably found yourself also trying desperately to avoid the overactive Twitter feeds, and gathered that clearly there was some sort of incident or controversy in the tent.

I’m not going to dwell on it, the media have done that enough, but if by some miracle you’re still in the dark about what the hell happened, basically Irish baker Iain ended up with a botched Baked Alaska when Diana took it out of the freezer. As a result, frustrated and embarrassed, Iain threw his Baked Alaska out of his pram and straight into the bin, and it left me for one in complete shock, for two reasons. 1 – the episode preview which was manipulated and carefully edited to imply that Diana had screwed over another baker was in fact accurate, and 2 after having his work thoughtlessly ruined by a fellow baker, it was Iain who was sent home!

Great British Bake Off baked alaska scandal 2014 Burlesque Bakery

Now there has since been an onslaught of reactions and revelations from the bake off tent to shed some light on what actually happened, because of course in this day and age of reality TV, special effects and airbrushing,  we the general public are too stupid to realise that the programme was edited in such a way to provoke a media frenzy and improve ratings. Ok, the programme has clearly been ruthlessly produced to get ratings, no doubt due to the pressure of moving to BBC1, but I still find Diana’s behaviour inexcusable.

Ultimately the incident has resulted in a number of official party lines, like “I thought Iain had his own freezer” or “it was only taken out of the freezer for about 40 seconds” – it’s completely irrelevant. 40 seconds or 40 minutes, it doesn’t matter. There is such a thing as etiquette and you have to show respect and courtesy for your peers, whether it’s in the bake off tent, office or backstage at a burlesque show. Of course I don’t believe Diana’s actions were solely responsible for Iain’s ice cream melting, when it was clear everyone was having problems, but if for no other reason than basic manners, if someones ice cream/costume/stuff is taking up space, you politely ask the owner if they wouldn’t mind moving it or helping you free up some room!

Granted, I’ve never been Iain’s biggest fan as you’ll have gathered from one of my previous blogs, but I was appalled at the decision to send him home. Ok, he buckled under the pressure – as a burlesque performer I know only too well that things happen and you have to improvise, it’s not the mistakes you make that matter, it’s how you handle them, but come on, who wouldn’t have been devastated in his position!? What’s more, Mary and Paul’s decision not to send Diana home sends a message that her behaviour is acceptable – and don’t even get me started on the fact that week after week Norman continues not to take on the judges criticism and yet still he’s in the competition.

Last year I expressed my concern over Mary and Paul’s poor judgement throughout the competition, and sadly last week’s episode was quite frankly the icing on the cake for me. The series has become a poor relation to the latest reality shows and car crash TV, where people are more interested in what outfit Mary Berry will be wearing than the baking. As a small business and baker myself, I’m not prepared to support a show that trivialises baking and wastes amazing opportunities on mediocre bakers that quite frankly don’t deserve them, and that’s why I won’t be watching it again.

The Burly Baker x