Bake Off’s biggest scandals – ‘sabotage’, sex claims and that x-rated squirrel

Barring Crufts and Country Watch, there's certainly nothing lovelier to watch on the box than The Great British Bake Off.

But behind the bunting, the Channel 4 show actually packs a punch in terms of scandal – with cheating bakers and jumpy judges all causing their fair share of drama.

From furious outbursts to flashing squirrels, here's a look back at the antics you won't believe happened on Bake Off…

The flashing squirrel shows his huge nuts

The Great British Bake Off squirrel was as much a part of the show as Paul Hollywood's twinkling eyes.

But in the 2011 final viewers got to see a whole lot more of the critter when it flashed it's huge penis and testicles.

Before the show, then host Sue Perkins tweeted, "I can now reveal that this week's GBBO features a shot of a squirrel with outsized nuts. Trust me, they are anatomically DAZZLING. Enjoy."

And fans were floored by the logistics of the operation, wondering how the squirrel managed to climb trees with such a heavy load.

Prue Leith spoils the final

In 2017 Prue ruined Christmas by accidentally revealing the winner 12 hours before the show aired.

In a cock-up of epic proportions, she congratulated victor Sophie Faldo at 10:37am on the day of the final after getting her time zones mixed up.

"No one told me judging a #gbbo final would be so emotional. I wanted them all to win. Bravo Sophie," she tweeted and then swiftly deleted.

Explaining her boo-boo, Prue said she was in Bhutan, South Asia, and thought the show had already aired in the UK.

"I thought that they got it six hours ago. I'm in too much of a state to talk about it. I f***** up," she told PA.

Prue spoils the illusion

She might be a judge on one of the world's biggest baking shows but that doesn't mean Prue actually practices what she preaches.

Instead of being a connoisseur of baking cakes, she recently admitted she only really cares about eating them.

"I don't have a passion for baking," she told students at the opening of her food and wine school. "I have a passion for eating cakes."

She added: "I am more interested in savoury cooking than baking."


Iain Watters got booted off the show in 2014 after throwing his botched baked alaska into the bin in a fit of rage.

The construction engineer refused to present his creation to the judges after the ice cream melted and it collapsed into a sloppy mess.

However, he insisted he wasn't to blame for the boo-boo, accusing fellow contestant Diana Beard of taking his ice cream out of the freezer to fit hers in.

The nation erupted with righteous indignation, accusing Diana of trying to 'sabotage' Iain's dessert and even calling for her arrest!

Judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry also came under fire for still kicking Iain off the show when it emerged two of the Bake Off freezers had broken, leaving hopefuls with nowhere to store their goods.

Eventually, Iain called for calm and begged the braying public to take a step back.

But as for his impulsive bin antics, he'd do it all again.

"I don't regret throwing it in the bin," he told the Guardian. "I didn't want to serve something in that state. I'm not a complete perfectionist but I'm someone who likes things to turn out as I intended them to. It was more frustration."

Paul Hollywood 'chases the dough'

The baking world's answer to George Clooney was a firm family favourite, sending women swooning and men rushing out to buy cook books.

But it all kicked off when after seven years, GBBO moved from the BBC to Channel 4 – and Paul was the only one to move with it.

While Marry Berry, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins quit the series in a show of loyalty, Paul hopped over to the dark side and sparked a national outpouring of anger.

And amid reports his salary had jumped from £100,000 to £400,000, he said, "I love doing my job, I really do and if anyone can put their hand on their heart and say you would actually leave your job if someone was going to pay you a little bit more money to move on and do the same job in the same tent…"

His private life has also attracted its fair share of negative press. In February 2013 Paul, 53, enjoyed a lusty affair with TV chef Marcela Valladolid whilst filming the US version of Bake Off.

His wife Alex Hollywood forgave him after he branded the fling a "mistake", but they split again in 2017 before he stepped out with local barmaid Summer Monteys-Fullam, 24.

They're now embroiled in a bitter break-up, reportedly sparked by Paul presenting her with a non-disclosure agreement as opposed to the engagement ring she'd been expecting.

Icing cheat

When faced with creating a 3D biscuit scene, Enwezor Nzegwu thought it would be a good idea to use shop-bought icing.

Waves of horror reverberated through the tent as he 'fessed up to Mary and Paul – who weren't in the least bit impressed by the texture or taste of his biscuits and promptly booted him from the show.

Noel Fielding's fridge antics

The former Mighty Boosh star decided to play tricks on co-host Sandi Toksvig in 2017 by hiding in one of the Smeg fridges.

She thought it was hilarious, but the parents watching at home didn't and complained to Ofcom in their droves about the example he was setting for their children.

The watchdog investigated, but Noel and co were eventually cleared and business continued as usual.

Ruby Tandoh's epic shut down

When Ruby came runner-up in series four, some cruelly suggested she only got to that point by having an affair with Paul Hollywood.

But Ruby had the last laugh when she not only shut down the reports but also revealed she's not even into men.

"For those who thought I fancied Paul Hollywood or that I'd ever bang him to get ahead – JOKE'S ON YOU, YOU MASSIVE S**TTING MISOGYNISTS," she tweeted.

The Great British Bake Off starts tonight on Channel 4 at 8pm.

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