Controversy erupted when Iain Watters threw his melted Baked Alaska away amid accusations of ‘sabotage’ – and he hasn’t been able to forget the #bingate scandal
It was the most scandalous moment in Great British Bake Off history – but what happened to Iain Watters after all the ice cream melted away?
Dubbed ‘Bingate’ by viewers, there was controversy in the big white tent back in 2014 when Diana Beard removed her rival’s Baked Alaska from the freezer.
Viewers watched in horror as his dessert started to melt on the workbench, with frantic Iain coming in too late to rescue his Showstopper.
“You’ve got your own freezer, haven’t you?” Diana cried after Iain began screaming about the “soup.”
Presenter Sue Perkins tried to help Iain make his desert presentable to the judges, but he furiously chucked it in the bin as the red mist descended.
Glum Iain approached the baffled judges with the bin containing his melted dessert and was criticized for losing his rag as they could have still tasted the flavors, so they decided he had to leave the competition.
That was only the start of the scandal – and Iain has never been able to forget about it.
Social media exploded after the episode aired with #JusticeForIain trending on Twitter as viewers turned on Diana.
However, there were claims that the footage had been edited to make her look responsible when in reality the dessert was only out of the freezer for 40 seconds, according to host Sue Perkins.
The BBC later issued a statement clarifying: “Diana removing Iain’s ice cream from the freezer for less than a minute was in no way responsible for Iain’s departure.”
Diana’s furious daughter Sarah claimed her mother had been “done up like a Christmas turkey” by the show, saying: “She has been sacrificed on the altar of ratings. To exploit an old lady is shameful.”
Despite the pensioner facing a tide of abuse and criticism from viewers, BBC bosses said they saw no reason to apologize to Diana, who later left the show due to ill health.
A spokesman said: “She hasn’t asked for one or needed one. We don’t feel that she’s been misrepresented.”
She received the backing from judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry as well as Iain himself, who tweeted: “Guys no hard feelings now. Diana is a top lady and all us tent bakers are great pals.”
Judge Mary said she thought the controversy was ‘absolute rubbish’ and said Iain’s exit was ‘unfortunate’.
Speaking on Chris Evans’ Radio 2 program, she said: “It was so unfortunate because Iain is, without doubt, a brilliant baker and we’ll see a great future for him.”
So what did happened to Iain once he departed the show?
One of the first things that happened was a somewhat bizarre appearance on Newsnight.
To show just how much the ‘Bingate’ sage had hit the headlines, Iain joined presenter Kirsty Wark in the studio to discuss the controversy while looking over some bakes.
“I knew it was going to be big but it’s gone nuts today. The reaction has been crazy,” he said. When asked about regrets, he said: “It was more frustrated and in the heat of the moment. The last moments of the show are intense.
“The pressure in the tent is really huge and different from baking at home. I don’t hold any grudges against Diane.”
Iain also confessed he was getting a lot of “ribbing” at work – and the amateur baker returned to his role as a project manager within a construction company
The Northern Irishman, who has amassed an impressive 25,000 followers on Twitter, carried on living in London after the show.
Back in 2015, Iain was spotted at the Queen Mary University campus in East London, working to build a new library and gym facilities.
The Bake Off star said he still got recognized a few times a week due to his “distinct look” but he had shaved off a lot of his famous ginger beard.
“It was quite a craze to have beards back then when I was on the show, but now I fancy a bit of a change really,” he told The Tab. “It’s not completely gone, as it’s now a more of a long stubble.”
And his experience on the show hadn’t put him off baking or even the dreaded dish which led to his exit.
He added: “I made a Baked Alaska straight after the show for Macmillan Cancer research and again recently. I still love baking and bake about two or three times a week.”
Hilariously, when Iain got married in 2016 he decided to have a Baked Alaska for his wedding cake.
Proving he was able to laugh at the situation after time had passed, Iain decided to have a reminder of his Bake Off exit when tying the knot to Catriona Mills.
Posting a snap of the dessert on Twitter, fellow series 5 contestant Martha Collison wrote: “Is there a better wedding cake for Iain?”
Other contestants from the series such as Chetna Makan, Nancy Birtwhistle, and Richard Burr were also seen tucking in in the ‘cake corner’.
Seven years later, people are still talking about the controversial ‘Bingate’ moment.
Former Bake Off host Sue Perkins discussed what happened off-camera on the Off-Menu podcast in February this year.
“I had to talk to him. Yeah, he was effing and jeffing. There’s a lot of effing and jeffing which was the first time we’ve had that on camera in Bake Off,” she told hosts Ed Gamble and James Acaster.
“Obviously there’s a lot of it going on backstage, mainly because I’m just foul of mouth but normally it’s very mellow, as you know. He really lost it.
“And at that moment I was with him, it was life and death, but then slowly this creeping contextualization of just… I’m with a man in a tent, whose ice cream has melted. This is… Meanwhile in Syria…”
Sue explained that she took Iain out of the tent for a little chat and bring some perspective on the situation.
She added: “But I have to say the aplomb with which he just got the foot on the pedal of the pedal bin. It was like something out of Thelma and Louise when you see that close up of it going down.”
*The Great British Bake Off airs tonight on Channel 4 at 8 pm