Great British Bake Off’s most scandalous moments, from the baked Alaska disaster to custardgate

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The Great British Bake Off is under way again, with Paul Hollywood handshakes, delicious food and Noel Fielding’s outlandish outfits back on screens.

Yet despite the show’s popularity – and delicious cakes – it hasn’t been without its awkward moments and controversy over the years.

Most recently, judge Paul, 54, came under fire after saying rainbow bagels reminded him of the NHS.


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The star, whose huge net worth was recently revealed, was hit with Ofcom complaints after failing to mention that the rainbow flag is linked to the LGBTQ+ community.

Paul’s comment resulted in 18 viewers contacting Ofcom to complain, according to MailOnline.

And this isn’t the first time the show has led fans to dispute what they’ve seen on screen, so we’ve taken a look back at some GBBO scandals, from store-bought fondant to Prue Leith’s awkward winner announcement.

The great British sexism storm

During one series, promo photos were published ahead of the show, which stirred up a storm among fans.

Eagle-eyed viewers complained about the "dated" snaps, showing female contestants mixing pink icing, and the boys mixing blue.

"Pink for the girls, blue for the boys? Really #GBBO? Sexist much?" one fan complained on Twitter.

Others took to social media to defend the popular show, however, suggesting it was simply a storm in a teacup, with one viewer commenting: "Are people really trying to make icing on GBBO a problem?"

When Ruby was accused of flirting her way to the top

Series four runner up Ruby Tandoh divided opinion with her appearance on the show, with critics accusing her of “batting her eyelids” and flirting with judge Paul Hollywood to 'seduce' her way to the top.

Some even suggested there was more going on between the pair behind closed doors.

The Bake Off beauty came out fighting on Twitter, later coming out as gay and saying: "For those who thought I fancied Paul Hollywood or that I'd ever bang him to get ahead- JOKE'S ON YOU, YOU MASSIVE S***ING MISOGYNISTS". Ruby went on to pen Crumb: The Baking book.

Jaffa cake dunk

Paul Hollywood dunking a jaffa cake into his tea during a conversation with Mary Berry caused an uproar among fans.

The star divided viewers with his action, as he took a bite of the cake after it had been in his hot drink..

Mary stopped to comment, saying: We don't do that in the south!" and before you knew it, #jaffagate was trending across the UK.

Oh, and HMRC concluded that jaffa cake is, in fact, a cake and not a biscuit. So for those thinking of dipping it into your tea, think again!

Store-bought fondant

How can we forget the moment Enwezor confessed to buying store-bought fondant?

The baker used it for his showstopper challenge and unfortunately, despite the Space Adventure cake being wow-worthy, the judges simply couldn’t see past the mistake. He was then eliminated from the competition.

Baking Burglary

It was no trifling matter when contestant Deborah accidentally ‘stole’ Howard's superior custard from their shared fridge in series four, and used it in her own trifle.

It caused national outrage as some viewers accused her of sabotage.

While Howard dealt with the error well and presenter Sue joked poor Deborah should be taken into "custardy", some viewers felt justice was served when she was later voted off.

The Baked Alaska disaster

If you thought #custardgate was bad, spare a thought for poor Iain Watters, who actually binned his Baked Alaska in series five.

He dramatically stormed out of the Bake Off tent, after fellow baker Diana Beard removed his Baked Alaska from the freezer, to make room for her own.

He later presented the unimpressed judges with the bin, leaving mild-mannered Mary visibly shocked.

A whopping 800 people complained, furious viewers launched a #justiceforiain campaign, and Diana later quit, blaming illness, amid a torrent of online abuse.

Iain later commented: "I feel bad for Diana because she's had quite a mauling on Twitter and I don't like all the nasty comments that have been directed towards her. I think it's a bit unfair, and I do think they could have edited the episode a bit better."

Winner woes

Prue Leith hit headlines after she accidentally tweeted out the winner, Sophie Faldo, ahead of The Great British Bake Off 2017 final.

The judge announced the name of the winner in a tweet, but hastily deleted it.

Speaking to OK! magazine about the mishap, Sophie said: "I spotted it on my news feed when it had been up for 42 seconds!

"I knew straight away a clanger had been dropped.

"It was actually me who rang Prue's assistant and I passed it onto Love Productions [GBBO's production company]."

Prue was in India at the time, and the time difference had caused confusion leading her to tweet her congratulations to the winner.

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