How my Great British Bake Off #bingate Tweet went viral

29 Aug 2014 @ 5.13 pm
| Opinion

When Bake Off fanatic Stephen Sorby saw an injustice he took to Twitter… with unexpected consequences

Spoons at dawn… Iain and Diana. Photograph: Mark Bourdillon for BBC/Love

Anyone watching the Great British Bake Off will be fully aware of the unfolding dramas of #bingate #BINCIDENT aka #Alaskagate!

Belfast beardie, the delightful Iain Watters (who actually lives in London) was voted off the show, after what can only be described as a culinary catastrophe. His bushy ginger beard had become as loveable as he, with it’s own Twitter account and the talk of social media week in, week out…

Iain had done well thus far: by no means the best, but certainly no means the worst either. The episode on Wednesday, August 27 was Desserts and Iain was doing very well.

Until the baked Alaska challenge.

In a nutshell, in a tent of 25 degrees, the ice-cream came to a rather unsightly end. Also involved was fellow contestant, Diana, and a freezer.

Diana, as was shown by the edited programme broadcast, removed Iain’s ice-cream from the freezer. Upon discovery by Iain, it led to a bit of a hissy fit from him, a few comments and comedy faces from Diana…


… and the baked Alaska went in the bin. Thereby, #bingate (or BINCIDENT as Iain himself dubbed it) was born.

Iain stormed off, then returned to present his bin to the judges.

Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, none too impressed, sent him home.


Feeling sorry for Iain, whom I have favoured and championed all along, I made a small pictorial image of #justiceforiain and tweeted it out…

Little did I know it would go viral internationally, thousands of retweets within the first hour or so, trending on over 20 different places and indeed on the Twitter top ten.

BuzzFeed featured it as a headline story. My Twitter account and Iain’s went into overdrive!

Even our own world famous Betty’s got involved with specially decorated fondant cakes:

The judges defended their position on Twitter, as did both presenters Mel and Sue, with Iain showing forgiveness and calming the Twitter storm of those baying for Diana’s blood.


Following more than 800 complaints to the BBC, the corporation issued a statement saying Diana had actually left the competition too during the filming period due to ill health.

Many are still baffled. Why did she not share this on radio broadcasts, what took the BBC so long? And the question on everyone’s lips: will Iain return?

Whatever the outcome – whoever wins the completion – Iain Watters won the hearts of the nation and beyond and indeed is a winner simply for that.

The Great Big Bearded One (sorry for all these #GBBO puns!) goes down in history as one who will never be forgotten. He has a bright future ahead of him (and I’m hoping he’s taking me for cake soon).

This episode was clearly The Great British Beard Off!

  Revd Dr Stephen Sorby is Railway and British Transport Police Chaplain for Yorkshire and North East England. He is also a bakeoholic!

  Follow Stephen on Twitter: @revstephensorby

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