Diana Beard, the Great British Bake Off contestant, really did suffer a loss of taste and smell which left her unable to continue on the show, her GP has said.
In an unusual step, the 69-year-old’s GP has written a letter outlining her medical symptoms in order to counter false claims that she left the show because of the so-called “bingate” controversy.
Beard had been accused of scuppering the chances of contestant Iain Watters by taking his ice-cream out of a freezer during a Baked Alaska challenge late last month. Watters threw his dish in the bin and was subsequently voted off the show by the judges.
Claiming that he was keen to “set the medical record straight”, Beard’s Shropshire doctor Dr Kieran Redman wrote a letter to the Telegraph insisting that his patient had paid a “heavy price” for appearing on the show.
He wrote: “As Diana’s GP I am fully aware of the medical reasons for her inability to continue in the series. She has asked me to make these reasons clear, because of the inferences drawn by some commentators, that her withdrawal from the programme was linked to the exit of Iain.
“Not only has she been unfairly accused of wrongdoing by the media but she has lost her senses of taste and smell due to a freak accident.
“In my view, if ever there were a reason not to take part in a reality TV show, here is a sound one.
“Ever since this head injury, Diana has been unable to smell or taste anything. She had a number of investigations, including a CT scan and a MRI scan of her head. These showed that the nerve from the nose, the olfactory nerve, which transmits taste and smell to the brain, had been completely severed as a result of the impact.”
Watters’ departure sparked a Twitter campaign with the hashtags #BringIainBack and #justiceforiain, calling for him to make a return.
However the communications regulator Ofcom and the BBC have both decided not to pursue an investigation into the row.
Despite claims that her actions ruined his dish, it emerged that Watters’ ice-cream had only been left outside in the warm for around one minute.