Great British Bake Off 2014: Diana Beard quits after falling ill

The contestant was involved in last night's Baked Alaska 'bingate' scandal

Jess Denham
Friday 29 August 2014 12:29 BST
Diana Beard has left the Great British Bake Off 2014
Diana Beard has left the Great British Bake Off 2014 (BBC)

Diana Beard has left the Great British Bake Off tent due to illness, BBC producers have confirmed.

The 69-year-old Women's Institute member quit the show after losing her sense of smell and taste the night before episode five was filmed.

The BBC said Diana's exit this was "not connected in any way" to the Baked Alaska scandal of episode four that viewers witnessed last night.

Diana, who is the oldest contestant to ever take part in the series, was attacked on social media after she took fellow contestant Iain Watters' ice-cream out of the freezer during the all-important final task.

Iain became enraged when his dessert was left runny and stormed out, only to return and present his creation in the bin. The 'bingate' hashtag was born and it was announced that Iain would be leaving the competition.

Despite the dramatic events of the latest instalment, the Bake Off was shot last spring, meaning that recent controversy would not have affected Diana's decision to leave.

Nevertheless, the BBC received 556 complaints from viewers arguing that Diana should have left instead of Iain.

Earlier today, Diana broke down in an interview and claimed she had been "stitched up" and made a scapegoat by the show's editor.

"Why would I want to sabotage Iain's Baked Alaska?" she told the BBC. "Iain does not hold me responsible for his failed ice cream. He rang me three days ago to warn me that the knives were out."

The BBC also rushed to Diana's defence, insisting that the offending ice-cream removal lasted "less than a minute" and was "in no way responsible for Iain's departure".

Paul Hollywood also took to Twitter to put an end to the drama, tweeting '#enoughnow' and adding that his fellow judge Mary Berry would be "upset" at all the debate.

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