No to re­prieve for Iain over Bake Off ‘freez­er­gate’ row

Sunday Express - - Jennifer Selway - By Giles Sheldrick

ELIM­I­NATED Great Bri­tish Bake Off con­tes­tant Iain Wat­ters will not win a re­prieve de­spite calls from an­gry view­ers for him to be re­in­stated on the show.

The “freez­er­gate” scan­dal caused such a storm that 811 fans protested to the BBC.

Bearded en­gi­neer Iain was even asked to ap­pear as a guest on BBC Two’s News­night and sug­gested he should be given an­other chance.

But last night in­sid­ers said there was no way back, par­tic­u­larly as the se­ries has been recorded.

A source on the BBC One show told the Daily Ex­press: “Iain will be ap­pear­ing for the fi­nal episode, along with all the cooks, but he will not be re­turn­ing as a con­tes­tant.”

In Wed­nes­day’s episode, mil­lions saw Iain, 31, from Belfast, throw his baked Alaska in the bin af­ter it melted in the heat be­fore he stormed out of the Bake Off tent.

He got the boot from judges Mary Berry and Paul Hol­ly­wood be­cause he had noth­ing to show them.

Fans cried foul be­cause ri­val Diana Beard, 69, had been seen tak­ing the ice cream based pud­ding from the freezer. But she de­nied “sab­o­tage”.

As Diana faced a public back­lash with some brand­ing her “evil”, it emerged that she left the con­test be­fore the fol­low­ing episode was filmed af­ter she suf­fered a freak fall and sev­ered her ol­fac­tory nerve. This robbed her of a sense of smell. The kitchen who­dunit is the big­gest scan­dal to hit Bake Off since a con­tes­tant ad­mit­ted us­ing a ri­val’s cus­tard last year.

But a spokesman for TV watch­dog Of­com said: “Having as­sessed view­ers’ com­plaints re­ceived to date, they do not raise is­sues war­rant­ing fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion un­der Of­com’s rules.”

The row led to grand­mother Diana, of Alk­ing­ton, Shrop­shire, claim­ing that pro­gramme edit­ing had made her the scape­goat.

She said: “They de­lib­er­ately mis­led view­ers and ex­ploited me for the sake of en­ter­tain­ment. The cake was out of the freezer for only 40 seconds.”

Pic­tures: BBC& PETER SUM­MERS/NEWSTEAM

Axed con­tes­tant Iain Wat­ters tak­ing part in BBC One’s Great Bri­tish Bake Off and, in­set, ‘scape­goat’ Diana Beard

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