Paul Hollywood apologised after The Great British Bake Off viewers called him out for his “insensitive” joke about diabetes in the show’s most recent episode.
During Pastry Week, the notoriously hard-to-please judge was explaining to co-star Prue Leith why he’d tasked the remaining contestants with making Gâteau Saint Honoré in the Technical Challenge. While doing so however, he flippantly described the sweet treat as “diabetes on a plate,” and it’s safe to say his comment didn’t go down well with fans.
Following the social media backlash, the 53-year-old shared a Instagram post of a batch of sugar-glazed Chelsea buns 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."
As soon as he made the quip as the broadcast aired on Tuesday 22 October, fans on Twitter and Instagram said: “Anyone else shocked at Paul Hollywood’s ‘diabetes on a plate’ comment when discussing a dessert on tonight’s episode of GBBO?
“I feel like this kind of stuff just reinforces uneducated and frankly stupid ideas and questions about diabetes, for example, ‘did you get it cos you eat too much cake?’ and my personal favourite, ‘if you ate this Mars bar, would you die?’”
Another called Hollywood’s wording “irresponsible,” adding: “It is untrue to say it of anyone, whatever their type of diabetes.”
“That is NOT diabetes on a plate... So saddened to see these myths being shown on your show. Type 1 diabetes has NOTHING to do with diet of lifestyle,” a fourth echoed, as they tagged Hollywood’s official Twitter account.
“The phrase ‘Diabetes on a plate’ needs to stop being used,” one more chimed in. “Please educate yourself on Diabetes. That’s just not how it works. Stop adding to the stigmatism! I’m disappointed in Paul Hollywood and Bake Off for using such s****y, damaging words.”
The Great British Bake Off continues on Tuesday 29 October at 8pm on Channel 4, where finalists health adviser David Atherton, geography teacher Alice Fevronia and shop assistant Steph Blackwell will compete to become the ultimate star baker.