Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Bake Off's Iain: I'm a rising star

Iain Watters became the fourth baker to leave The Great British Bake Off after throwing his Baked Alaska in the bin during the contest (BBC/PA)

The baker at the centre of The Great British Bake Off's "bin-cident" row has admitted he allowed his frustration to boil over, but says since then, public support has been "crazy".

Bearded construction manager Iain Watters, 31, lost his cool when his baked Alaska pudding melted after rival contestant Diana Beard took it out of the freezer - leading Iain to throw it in the bin.

The controversy whipped up anger among viewers who accused Diana, 69, of sabotaging the pudding, and she dramatically quit the show due to ill health just after the episode was filmed.

Iain was voted off the show after presenting judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood with a bin when they asked to see his dessert and his departure sparked a Twitter campaign with the hashtags BringIainBack and justiceforiain, calling for him to make a return.

Speaking on BBC's Newsnight programme, when asked if he would be making a comeback, he teased viewers by saying: "You will have to watch next week."

He added he had spoken to Diana since and had no hard feelings.

He said: "I knew it was going to be quite a big thing as it was a big thing that happened on the show. The reaction has been crazy, there were a lot of comments on Twitter. It's been really nice support and really built up overnight.

"I was more frustrated and it was just the heat of the moment, In the last half hour of the show it got very tense.

"I've spoken to (Diana) and she's fine."

Paul has responded to the Twitter storm by saying: "Ice cream being left out of fridge last night for 40 seconds did not destroy Iains (sic) chances in the bake off, what did was his decision BIN."

Diana revealed she left the show just before filming began after a freak fall severed her olfactory nerve, robbing her of her sense of smell.

She faced a storm of critical coverage after some viewers blamed her for the departure of Iain - dubbed "freezer-gate" - in episode four of the BBC programme.

After complaining the show had been edited to make it look as though she sabotaged her rival's chances t he BBC then announced that Diana would not be appearing in episode five, explaining that she "fell ill" ahead of filming.

But she has since clarified that she "fainted" and banged her head during supper with the other contestants just before production of the episode was due to start.

In a freak accident, the pensioner, who lives near Whitchurch, Shropshire, said: "I fainted - which I have never done - and bashed my head, severing my olfactory nerve.

"So I have now lost my sense of smell and most of my taste."

She added that she has some sensation of foods which are very salty or vinegary, but has been told by a specialist that nothing medically can be done to repair the damage and she may never fully recover her senses.

"It could have been worse, and I am counting my blessings," said Diana, who used to run an upholstery business.

She said the announcement that she would not be returning for episode five had been brought forward by the BBC, following the furore of the most recent broadcasts in which some members of the public branded her "evil".

"At least people will know I haven't wimped out," she added.

"It's a relief, as people now know the truth."

A BBC statement said: "Diana will not appear in the rest of the series as she fell ill ahead of filming episode five earlier this year."

The programme was filmed in the spring.

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