The Great British Bake Off
Beard said she has been stitched up by the BBC. BBC

The scandal of ice-cream gate continues to unfold with news that Great British Bake Off contestant Diana Beard has quit the show.

Beard was implicated in the matter of a melting Baked Alaska, which prompted rival baker Iain Watters to storm off the show after binning his sabotaged dessert.

The two had a showdown with a sheepish Mrs Beard trying to pin the blame on him, saying: "It's here. Sorry Iain. Well you've got your own freezer haven't you?"

Watters yelled back in frustration: "Why would you take it out of the freezer?"

When the show's host Sue Perkins asked him how he planned to serve the runny mixture, he replied: "I've got a serving suggestion," and promptly threw it in the bin.

I've been stitched up, haven't I? We were 12 amateur bakers, no prize money involved. Why would I want to sabotage Iain's Baked Alaska? I was very pleased to get through the first week - everything after that was a bonus.
- Diana Beard

While the other contestants continued to bake, Watters stomped out of the tent in a rage.

He was knocked out of the competition after he walked up to judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood with a bin in his hand instead of a pudding.

Berry, 79, said his behaviour was 'unacceptable' and refused to put him through to the next round.

"It was just a moment of your life that you want to forget. Is that right?" she said.

Explaining his actions Watters said: "I threw it in the bin because I didn't want to present it. I didn't want them to judge the way it came out so I'd rather present nothing. I'm gutted. I had some issues with the ice cream and I let the frustration of that get the better of me."

The BBC said it had received 556 complaints about the incident with viewers branding the 69-year-old 'evil' when Watters left instead of her.

Fans of the show took to Twitter to vent their ire at Beard who faced allegations of cheating, while the Irish construction engineer won the sympathy of many who felt he had been the victim of an underhand plot by his rivals.

Explaining her absence from the rest of the competition, a BBC spokesman said: "Diana will not appear in the rest of the series as she fell ill ahead of filming episode 5 earlier this year.

But Beard contends that she left because she was the victim of a "stitch up."

Mrs Beard claimed the incriminating episode had been edited to make it look as though she deliberately sabotaged her rival's chances of wining the showstopper round, by leaving the ice cream baked inside the meringue, out of the freezer on purpose so it would melt.

Beard claims the Baked Alaska was out of the freezer for a mere 40 seconds, and would not have melted into a puddle.

The Great British Bake-Off
Iain Watters stormed off in a rage after he failed to present a pudding in the showstopper round. BBC / The Great British Bake Off

She also said that Watters had telephoned her to warn her that she would face public backlash. She revealed she burst into tears after watching the episode.

In an interview with BBC Radio Shropshire she said: "I've been stitched up, haven't I?"

"We were 12 amateur bakers, no prize money involved. Why would I want to sabotage Iain's Baked Alaska? I was very pleased to get through the first week - everything after that was a bonus.

"Iain does not hold me responsible at all for his failed ice cream. In fact, he rang me three days ago to warn me that the knives were out," she said.

"I'm disappointed with the way it's been portrayed and so is Iain. Iain has been my biggest ally'.

Commenting on the cooking scandal, a spokesman for the BBC 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."

Putting the sorry episode of the inedible dessert behind him, Watters turned to social media to defend his fellow baker saying: "Guys, no hard feelings now. Diana is a top lady and all us tent bakers are great pals. Can't wait to tune into the rest of the series."