Meltdown on Bake Off

Meltdown on Bake Off

Anger management lessons from Ian Watters

Apparently it wasn’t just the sponge layers on the Tiramisu that involved dodgy cutting last night on the BBC 1. The editing on last night’s now infamous edition of The Great British Bake Off may have unfairly pointed the finger at Dianne Beard (69) for sabotaging the amateur baking competition. The show depicted Dianne taking Iain Water’s ice cream component of his Baked Alaska out of the fridge at a crucial stage in the preparation. It lead to a gloomy mess rather that Ian threw in the bin rather than present to the judges. Iain’s reaction lead to him being ejected from the competition as he failed to present anything to the judges for their evaluation.

Like many of the viewers of the programme joined twitter to protest his treatment.


But I have been reflecting on what happened and want to commend Iain for the way he conducted himself. I think there are four lessons about handling anger that we can take away from the show.

  1. Take yourself in hand

I was impressed that Iain showed incredible self-control by taking himself out of the situation. Rather than reacting with vengeance, as I might have been tempted to do – there was a flamethrower and meringue swans close by. Walking out of the glare of the lights to compose and gather himself was definitely an excellent way to handle the pressure.



  1. Take the time you need

My mother always had a count to ten strategy when things were getting a bit heated. It gave her the thinking time she needed to get herself together rather than losing her cool in the heat of the moment. Too often in the heat of the moment we react rather than respond. After retreating to a safe distance to gather his thoughts Iain came back a more composed person than when he left.

  1. Take responsibility

Rather than spitting with fury and rage and making sure the other bakers got their “just desserts.” Iain didn’t point any fingers at anyone else, he took responsibility for what he had done wrong in the situation. I found that very inspiring.


  1. Take a bit of perspective

Now that the weeks have passed since this particular incident was filmed. Iain could have been steaming away with anger like a pressure cooking ready to explode. But instead he has gone out of his way to be gracious and kind to his other bakers – including Dianne. He apparently phoned Dianne to make sure she was ok and even tweeted support of her as the twittersphere was lighting up with anger. In the end this is a amateur baking competition and people are more important than cakes. Iain models something powerful in his gracious and measured response to this situation.


I would love to see Iain being given his own show perhaps called “Appetite for destruction” or “Meltdown “ where he helps people handle their anger management problems. What say you friends?




2 thoughts on “Meltdown on Bake Off

  1. Paul says:

    As someone who trains people in handling conflict well, you’ve highlighted some very important points here Krish. Enjoyable read as always, thank you. Conflict, and how to manage it, is a skill and one that needs to be learned and practiced. Sadly, it is often overlooked as people think they either know it all or is simply “always that guys fault”.

    1. Thanks Paul kind of you to comment – would love to hear your perspective on how to handle conflict well . Blessings Krish

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