The Great British Bake Off is back on Channel 4 as we see another round of bakers step into the tent to compete to become the best in the country.
Tonight we see 12 new amateur bakers on our screens doing their best to impress Judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith with their challenges.
For a baking show, there has been controversy over the years since Bake Off first aired on the BBC in 2010.
The program has made headlines several times and we’ve rounded up some of the biggest scandals to date.
Bake Off When Leaving BBC
We all remember this one. Viewers were outraged when The Great British Bake Off left the BBC after the company behind Bake Off – Love Productions – signed a three-year contract with Channel 4.
Loyal fans have vowed to never watch the show again, especially after popular hosts Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins announced their departure after being disappointed that Bake Off was leaving his home.
More than a week later, fan-favorite judge Mary Berry announced that she was leaving the series shortly in a display of unity and defiance over the controversial decision.
Paul Hollywood – in a big Bake Off scandal – was the only original actor to switch to Channel 4 with the show, especially when it was reported that Channel 4 had significantly increased his salary.
Shortly after Mel left, Sue and Mary, Noel Fielding and Sandi Toksvig were announced as the new hosts of Bake Off with Prue Leith replacing Mary Berry as judge.
Bake Off Series Eight was the first to air on Channel 4 and viewers watched ex-Army Girl Sophie Faldo become the winner of the show.
However, just hours before the last episode aired, debutante Prue accidentally leaked the results on Twitter, congratulating Sophie in a tweet. Poor Prue confused her time zones as she was in South Asia at the time of the tweet and mistakenly believed the show had already aired in the UK.
Fans accused Paul Hollywood of showing favoritism towards young contestant Ruby Tandoh in the 2013 edition of Bake Off and even speculated that the two were having an affair, despite Paul being married at the time.
It also emerged that he and his wife had separated – and later reconciled – the same year after they had an affair. This further fueled fan speculation.
Ruby sensationalized the rumors to bed while confirming her sexuality in an iconic tweet.
Ruby tweeted: “For those who thought I liked Paul Hollywood or hit him someday to get going – JOKE’S ON YOU, YOU MASSIVE S ** TTING MISOGYNISTS”.
Noel enters a fridge
In 2017, comedian Noel Fielding sparked an argument at Ofcom after he hid in one of the refrigerators at the Bake Off tent in an attempt to play a prank on co-host Sandi Toksvig.
Although Sandi found the joke funny, viewers at home were unimpressed and Ofcom has received more than 50 complaints about the incident, saying it sets a bad example for children.
Ofcom investigated the incident and ultimately Noel was exonerated after ruling that no guidelines had been breached as children were unlikely to be watching at the time.
A naughty squirrel
You really had to see it to believe it. Bake Off is often accompanied by wonderful, picturesque camera views of the area in which the show is filmed. It is also filmed in the summer, so the weather is always nice and warm.
On one of these panoramic views, viewers got more than they bargained for when a rather well-endowed squirrel proudly displayed its testicles for all to see.
Before the episode aired, then-host Sue Perkins warned viewers by tweeting, “I can now reveal that this week’s GBBO features a photo of a squirrel with oversized nuts. Believe it or not. – me, they’re anatomically stunning. Enjoy. “
The Cream Thief
2013 proved to be a controversial year for baking, after Paul was accused of showing favoritism towards candidate Ruby Tandoh, viewers were angered by an apparent theft of custard.
During one of the weeks on the show, the bakers were tasked with making a trifle. Competitor Deborah accidentally used her colleague Howard’s batch of custard after their bowls were in the same refrigerator.
Although this was a very simple mistake to make, viewers were outraged by the sabotage and “Poor Howard” began to appear on Twitter.
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Paul Hollywood kissing the row
Any fan of Bake Off will know that Paul Hollywood is not only known for his famous bread recipes, he is also known for his outrageous love life.
He became the center of a scandal after photos were taken of him looking a little too cozy with Bake Off winner Candice Brown in 2017. The photos were taken at an after party for the awards. The Pride of Britain and starred Stacey Solomon.
The photos emerged just a day after Candice announced her engagement to boyfriend Liam Macaulay. Both furiously denied the rumors and Stacey even stepped in to defend them.
Three weeks later, Paul confirmed his separation from his wife Alex after 20 years of marriage.
In 2014, Bake Off was hit by the series’ biggest scandal to date. The weather was scorching and the bakers were tasked with making an Alaska in the oven. Naturally, everyone had a hard time with their ice cream because of the temperatures.
However, candidate Diana Beard sparked national outrage when she took her colleague Iain Watters’ ice cream out of the freezer – and left it aside.
Iain realized his ice cream had melted and his dessert looked messy and tossed it all in the trash in a fit of anger. He then accused Diana of taking out her ice cream so that she could put hers.
Fans came to his defense and accused Diana of sabotaging him, some even calling for his arrest.
Judges Paul and Mary have also come under fire for excluding Ian from the show after two of the freezers were revealed to be broken, leaving bakers scrambling for space to store their pastries.
More than 80 complaints were submitted to Ofcom following the episode.
The BBC released a statement explaining that Iain bake was left out of the freezer for less than a minute and was taken out for not presenting something to the judges.
The Great British Bake Off airs tonight on Channel 4 at 8 p.m. ET.