The 26th October 2016 saw the finale of the seventh season of the best baking show on telly – the Great British Bake Off! After 10 flour-filled weeks of delectable dampfnudel, yummy Yorkshires, and tempting tarts galore, Candice took the sugar-coated crown, and the rest of the bakers were left to bake another day.
In its relatively short run on our TV screens, the Great British Bake Off has risen through the ranks to become one of our best-loved shows, raking in an astonishing record-breaking 10.4 million people for its first episode this year. So why are viewers so attracted to the show?
Is it the sheer range of tempting bakes concocted each week? Maybe it’s the competitive element, with the bakers fighting to impress meticulous judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood? Or is it just because it’s so deliciously adorable and fun to watch?
One reason, for sure, is that despite it being a dog-eat-dog competition, with bakers rising to Star Baker one week and then being swept out the tent the next, the contestants are always remarkably happy and friendly.
No matter what happens, the bakers support and help each other out, even though they might be risking their own bakes by doing so. In any other competition, we’d think this was ridiculous. But in the Great British Bake Off, it’s a common weekly occurrence, and nobody bats an eyelid.
Throughout our working lives, we all encounter situations which challenge us, anger us, and wind us up to the point where we just want to shut everything – and everyone – out. And particularly when we already have to deal with constant streams of emails, multiple meetings, and stressful setbacks and pitfalls on top of our already overflowing to-do lists, our workplace relationships may sometimes bear the brunt of our adversity.
The Great British Bake Off reminds us that even when we’re faced with the stress and turbulence of a competitive, quick-fire environment, there’s always room for co-operation and collaboration. Workplace relationships don’t have to be a hassle – they can be supportive, strengthening and productive.
Perhaps we could all learn a lesson in teamwork from the nation’s favourite baking show – even if we don’t know our pancakes from our pies.