Noel Fielding’s controversial Bake Off joke to spark Ofcom investigation?

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Kayleigh Dray
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When it was first announced that Noel Fielding would be taking over from Mel Giedroyc/Sue Perkins as a presenter on Channel 4’s The Great British Bake Off, there were more than a few raised eyebrows. He’s funny, sure, but would he have the same warmth as the original duo? Would he guzzle cakes with as much gusto? Would he dazzle us with an array of outrageously cheesy puns?

The answer, as it turns out, is a big fat yes – with many people praising Fielding’s “more surreal, comedic take” on all of that baking action.

However, in the third episode of the 2017 series (‘Bread Week’), the presenter decided to add some physical humour to his repertoire. And his antics did not go down well on social media.

In the episode, Sandi Toksvig opened up a refrigerator to reveal her co-host huddled up inside it.

Fielding then announced: “Bakers, you are half way through your challenge. Half way through,” before Toksvig closed the door on him.

Channel 4 later shared a snapshot of the scene on Twitter, captioning it: “Just when you thought @NoelFielding11 couldn’t get any cooler…”

Despite presenting the moment as light-hearted and funny, though, many slammed the show for sending a dangerous message to children.

Ofcom has subsequently received 24 complaints, which could lead to a full investigation.

“We will assess these complaints before deciding whether or not to investigate,” a spokesperson told Digital Spy.

However, while the majority of comments about the refrigerator gag were negative, there were some who defended Bake Off from critics.

Of course, this isn’t the only ‘scandal’ that’s rocked this year’s season of the show (although it is undoubtedly the one which has had the most serious repercussions).

Remember how everyone was up in arms over the unusual mini roll recipe, the pre-made fondant incident, the ad breaks, and the frequency of The Paul Hollywood Handshake?

And let’s not forget the absurd ‘fix’ claims that have been made about two-time star baker Steven Carter-Bailey, whose personal Instagram account left viewers convinced he was an undercover pro.

However, the last time Bake Off was threatened with an Ofcom investigation was back in 2014, when they received 800 complaints from viewers over the “Bingate” incident.

During the episode, baker Ian Watters stormed off after discovering his Baked Alaska had melted – with viewers accusing fellow contestant Diana Beard of sabotaging the dessert by removing it from a freezer without his knowledge.

Ofcom ultimately decided not to investigate the incident.

GBBO continues next Tuesday at 8pm on Channel 4

Images: Channel 4


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.