I was on the telly

You are always one decision away
from a totally different life.

This year is the fourth year since I was on the telly for nearly 8 weeks in a row. Sometimes I think to myself how the hell that even happen, I was on the telly. Yes I say the telly, I could be all uber correct and call it the television but I would rather stick to what I call it. On the 13th of September 2013, my life changed immeasurably because I listened to Joanne for once. She made me apply to be a contestant on the Great Irish Bake Off, she bugged and plagued that absolute life out of me to enter in November 2012. Me listening to her was one of those moments in your life like the quote at the top of the page that changed everything.

I rarely speak about the Great Irish Bake Off or for the purposes of this blog post GIBO. It is like one of those things that you do in life and decide to close the book on or place neatly into your bottom drawer and lock it away for safe keeping but don't go back to it. In work I am known as the bake off guy, even when new people who join the company find out I was on the show they want to talk to me about it. I am regularly asked am I still baking, to which I reply jokingly "no I hate cakes". I am generally quite coy and embarrassed to talk about it, I really don't know why, I clam up and struggle to talk about myself on the show. There was a time when it was airing live I thought I was billy big balls on the telly, I would get recognised regularly in shops and out on the street, I loved it. I remember however talking to a friend of mine who appeared on Masterchef, she said that only lasts a few months and soon enough you are being asked "Do I know you from somewhere?" and then you are forgotten. 

When the show ended however I stopped feeling as happy as I once was about being on the show and I was not able to appreciate the experience. Ultimately I got to the final and lost, subconsciously I suspect that is why I don't like talking about it, for a long time I saw it as a failure. I was and it was a long way from failure. In reality who wants to be recognised on a daily basis for being on telly, I am not some great humanitarian, I baked a couple of cakes that's about it. More than any fame or notoriety I learned how to be able to be me. I learned how to speak, in fact on episode 4 of the show I won the coveted Star Baker for that episode and it was like a eureka moment. That moment is a pin point for these past 4 years, a starting block, I learned I had a voice and it has taken some time but I am getting there.

 It allowed me to be comfortable in my own self, to speak to large crowds, teach in cookery schools for some time and ultimately do a podcast with my wife Joanne today. I never managed to have a career in baking cakes or anything culinary based but I learned  to speak and be me. I am eternally grateful to firstly Joanne , she forced me down a path of something I did not want to do and I am also grateful of the chance I received to be on the Great Irish Bake Off. The experience and what I learned has made me a better person. I still chuckle to Joanne sometimes when we are watching telly of an evening, that I was on the box in living room one time.

This week we start a new addition to our podcast called Telly Thursdays, we hope you check it out!

You can read about my time on the Bake Off here:

You can see more of podcasts here :