Belfast Telegraph

Great British Bake Off: No gran conspiracy over Belfast baker Iain Watters' 'Bingate' ... BBC sticks to its guns over Diana Beard edit

By Amanda Ferguson

The BBC has refused to apologise to Great British Bake Off contestant Diana Beard after she was accused of ousting a Belfast contestant by sabotage.

The grandmother has found herself at the centre of a storm of controversy after viewers saw her take Iain Watters' ice cream out of a freezer and leaving it to melt.

The bearded Belfast man threw his dish in the bin after realising the ice cream, a key ingredient of his Baked Alaska, had melted in the 25 degree heat.

Diana's family say the programme, however, failed to show her returning it to the freezer under a minute after taking it out.

Watters lost his temper when his attempt at the challenging dessert – made of cake, meringue and ice cream – failed.

He dumped his melted creation into the bin, and was subsequently selected as the latest contestant to leave the competition.

The 31-year-old has since said he didn't approve of Diana being made out as a villain after the show was aired.

"I think it's very unfair," he added.

In an interview with the Sunday Mirror, Diana Beard's daughter Sarah said she is furious her mother has been "sacrificed at the altar of ratings" and added it was "shameful" of the BBC to "exploit an old lady".

And the 2013 Great British Bake Off winner, Ruby Tandoh, took to Twitter to express support for the grandmother after she was targeted by irate fans of the show.

"Shame on the online lynch mobs and on the show's editors for letting her Bake Off dreams end in a witch-hunt."

But a BBC spokesman said they saw no reason to apologise to Diana, who later left the programme due to ill health.

He is reported to have said: "She hasn't asked for one or needed one. We don't feel that she's been misrepresented."

The BBC said Iain Watters was dismissed "because he didn't present Mary (Berry) and Paul (Hollywood) with anything to judge in the showstopper challenge and both judges were very clear about the reasoning behind the decision".

But the corporation was forced to confirm Diana, who has since left the series because of ill health, was not to blame for Iain's exit from the show after more than 800 complaints.

The Belfast Telegraph has been campaigning for Watters to get his just desserts – an apology for being eliminated from the hugely popular show.

So far 315 people have signed our 'Justice for Iain' petition calling for the BBC to apologise to the bearded baker.

Background

Belfast baker Iain Watters was the fourth contestant to leave the fifth series of The Great British Bake Off.

The Belfast Telegraph 'Justice for Iain' petition calling for the BBC to apologise can be found here

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