Bake Off contestant complains of editing 'stitch-up'
The Great British Bake Off contestant blamed by some for another's exit has claimed to have been "stitched up" by the way the BBC programme was edited.
Diana Beard, 69, said she had been made a "scapegoat" after being shown to play a part in Iain Watters' elimination.
Watters exited the show after throwing his melted Baked Alaska in a bin.
Yet some viewers have since called for his reinstatement, suggesting Beard engineered his dismissal by taking his ice cream out of the freezer.
Speaking on BBC Radio Shropshire, Beard - the oldest contestant to have appeared on the BBC ratings winner - cried foul over how Wednesday's episode was edited.
"I'm disappointed with the way it's been portrayed," she said. "I've been stitched up, haven't I?
"We were 12 amateur bakers, [there's] no prize money involved. Why would I sabotage Iain's Baked Alaska?
"This has made it look like some cutthroat competition," she continued. "I think someone's culpable for the editing, really."
Beard claimed Watters' ice cream had been out of the freezer for no more than "40 seconds" and that her "conscience was intact".
Celebrities involved in the show leapt to her defence after Wednesday's broadcast prompted a furore on social media.
Co-host Sue Perkins insisted there had been "no sabotage" and that the situation was "getting a little inflamed for my liking".
"This is a show about CAKES," the comedienne and broadcaster continued on Twitter. "Please, let's save the ire for real stuff."
"At the end of the day Mary [Berry] & I need something to judge," tweeted judge Paul Hollywood. "It's not about melted ice cream but about what's presented."
A BBC spokesperson said: "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."
An average of 8.1 million viewers tuned into The Great British Bake Off on Wednesday, which saw the show's nine remaining contestants attempt to impress the judges with their desserts.
Watters is the fourth contestant to leave the BBC One show after Jordan Cox, Claire Goodwin and Enwezor Nzegwu were shown the door in previous weeks.