Channel 4 has announced its plans to cut Paul Hollywood’s “irresponsible” joke about diabetes from any future broadcasts of The Great British Bake Off’s series 10 semi-final.
During Tuesday night’s episode, the contestants were tasked with making choux buns as part of Patisserie Week. While Hollywood was explaining to co-star Prue Leith why he chose the complicated French creations for the baker’s Technical Challenge, he described them as “diabetes on a plate.”
His flippant remark angered fans and many took to social media to slam him for making “uneducated” comments about the condition and perpetuating harmful stigma surrounding diabetic people’s diets.
“Some of you may have seen or heard about the reference to #diabetes made on this week’s episode of #GBBO,” healthcare and research charity Diabetes UK wrote on its official Twitter page a couple of days after the episode aired. “We’ve been in touch with the producers and [Channel 4] to explain how remarks like this can lead to misunderstanding, and be upsetting for people affected by diabetes.”
Update: We’re really pleased to say that #GBBO production company @LoveProductions have confirmed that the comment about diabetes will be removed from any future repeats of the episode, and our advice around how to talk about #diabetes is going to be shared across the company.
— Diabetes UK (@DiabetesUK) October 24, 2019
“We regret that a comment about diabetes in this week’s GBBO caused offence. It was certainly not our intention,” a spokesperson from the show told the Radio Times in response to the backlash, before confirming that “the comment will be removed from all future repeats of the episode.”
Hollywood, 53, also said he was sorry for the quip, posting an image of sugar-glazed sweet treats on his Instagram alongside the caption: “A remark re:- diabetes I made on tonight’s show was thoughtless and I meant no harm, as both my grandad and my own mother suffer/ suffered from diabetes … apologies X."
The current series of The Great British Bake Off is set to conclude on Tuesday 29 October at 8pm on Channel 4, where health adviser David Atherton, geography teacher Alice Fevronia and shop assistant Steph Blackwell will compete to become the ultimate star baker.