The setback I experienced in Episode 3 was a real turning point for me in how I approached the competition. For the first 3 programmes, I found the environment somewhat alien and unsettling. Nothing to do with the extensive Production Team, who were consistently encouraging and helpful, but the many mini interviews that preceded each bake; that then continued throughout the bake, and again on its completion; the ever-present cameras, the relentless clock-watching around tight time limits… all combined to prevent my settling down to enjoy the experience in contrast to most of my fellow contestants who adapted more readily.
My success as Star Baker in *programme 4 gave me a real boost of confidence and I started to enjoy the whole experience much more. Also, by this point, we had really started to bond as a group and become more familiar with the surroundings and process. The owners and people of the beautiful ‘Harptree Court’ location were a delight with their endless tea and supportive approach. As were Mel and Sue who are the glue that kept us all together.
Always on the alert for signs of meltdown, they would quickly be by your side diminishing/removing anxiety build-up with their humour restoring a sense of perspective. TV programme-making gives you a unique insight into just what is involved in creating a one-hour programme.