On episode four of this year’s series of Bake Off, which aired on Channel 4 on Tuesday evening, the contestants were tasked with making beignets souffles – deep-fried choux puffs which were popular during the 1920s.
The challenge required the bakers to fry choux pastry while forming them into ball shapes, a step which Michael struggled to carry out successfully, causing him to become tearful.
At one point, the 26-year-old looked flustered as he held his head and said: “I can’t. I can’t. It’s too much.”
On Wednesday, Michael tweeted about experiencing anxiety and how watching the episode made him feel “uncomfortable”.
“Hey kids, let’s talk about anxiety,” the theatre manager and fitness instructor said at the beginning of a four-piece Twitter thread.
“Watching last night’s episode was uncomfortable but mainly it showed me that I can do things even though (and especially when) I think I can’t.”
Michael continued, saying that anyone who has experienced anxiety should remember that there is “always a way past, through or around the shadow”.
“There is always someone who will listen and you are always stronger than you think,” he wrote, before encouraging anyone who needs help to reach out to him.
Following the technical – in which Michael came eighth out of nine – he told the cameras that if he had taken a break during the challenge, then he “wouldn’t have come back”.
“I need to get hashtag #RealMenCry trending this year. Hashtag #MenTears,” he added later on in the episode.
Several Twitter users praised the baker for speaking openly about his mental state during and after the Bake Off episode.
“You are amazing Michael, and thank you so much for raising awareness of anxiety,” one person tweeted.
“It was so important for the world to see that, and so brave of you to let it,” another Twitter user said.
Another Bake Off viewer expressed their admiration for Michael verbalising how he was feeling during the task.
“A great example of mind over matter, aprons off to you!!” they added.
For all the latest news on The Great British Bake Off, click here.
If you are in need of mental health support, you can contact the free Samaritans helpline on 116 123.
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