The communications regulator Ofcom and the BBC have both decided not to pursue an investigation into The Great British Bake Off’s “bingate” row.
Both parties have sought to call an end to the saga which came after baker Iain Watters threw his dish away when his pudding melted and he was subsequently voted off the show on Wednesday night.
Thirteen viewers complained to Ofcom with twelve of them insisting that Watters’ dish was sabotaged while 811 have complained directly to the BBC about the incident with many also crying foul play.
On the show, broadcast on Wednesday night, it appeared that rival contestant Diana Beard took Watter’s ice cream out of the freezer, thus contributing to the mishap with his baked alaska. Beard quit the show due to ill health just after the episode was filmed.
However Ofcom has decided not to pursue the complaints, with a spokesman insisting: “Having assessed viewers’ complaints received to date, they do not raise issues warranting further investigation under Ofcom’s rules”.
The BBC has also decided not to pursue an investigation, senior sources have confirmed.
So far 811 viewers have complained directly to the BBC, with the BBC issuing the following response to those who felt Watters was unfairly eliminated from the show: “As shown in the episode, Iain became the fourth baker to leave the tent because he didn’t present Mary and Paul with anything to judge in the showstopper challenge and both judges were very clear about the reasoning behind the decision.
“Due to the extreme temperature in the tent that day, many of the bakers struggled to get their ice cream to set as seen in the episode. Diana removing Iain’s ice cream from the freezer for less than a minute was in no way responsible for Iain’s departure.”
Watters’ departure sparked a Twitter campaign with the hashtags #BringIainBack and #justiceforiain, calling for him to make a return.
Speaking on BBC’2s Newsnight, Watters said that he had spoken to Beard since and had no hard feelings: “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.”
On Thursday, judge Paul Hollywood tweeted: “Ice cream being left out of fridge last night for 40 seconds did not destroy Iain’s chances in the bake off, what did was his decision BIN.”
Beard revealed she left the show just before filming began on episode five after a fall severed her olfactory nerve, robbing her of her sense of smell.
Ben has worked as a professional journalist specialising in TV and the arts for nearly twenty years. After a two year stint on local newspapers in the mid 1990s, he spent more than 5 years as the broadcast reporter at the Stage newspaper. Following that he enjoyed staff reporting positions at the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Times breaking stories and writing features before settling as a full time freelance writing for an array of newspapers and magazines - but mainly for the Guardian, Evening Standard, Broadcast, Independent and the New Statesman where he wrote a column.