The Great British Bake Off has come under fire from viewers who complained to Ofcom over Paul Hollywood’s ‘insensitive’ ‘small hands’ joke.
The complaints also refer to Paul’s comments about rainbow bagels ‘representing the NHS’.
According to The Sun, TV watchdog, Ofcom received 70 complaints from viewers about both incidents.
This week’s episode saw Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas cheekily mocking Paul’s ‘Hollywood handshake’ (the handshake contestants get if they have really impressed the judge).
During the opening of the show, Noel appeared to shake the Little Britain star’s hand with Paul’s ‘stolen’ handshake.
‘You want to see something amazing?’ Noel asked Matt, to which he replied: ‘Yes please.’
‘I was messing about in Paul’s dressing room last night and I found this,’ Noel continued.
‘Check this out, it’s the Hollywood handshake.’
Noel proceeded to mock Paul by shaking hands with Matt with the fake hand, which led him to have an electric shock.
Paul then came into shot as he asked the pair: ‘You haven’t been playing with my handshake have you?’
‘Because if you have you’ll get this and this alright?’ he added as he took out his small prosthetic hand.
Some viewers felt that the sketch was distasteful, including Paralympian Carly Tait.
Taking to Twitter at the time, Carly told Channel 4 the sketch was ‘unacceptable’.
She tweeted: ‘Oi @Channel4 do you need a #disabled expert or D&I consultant in your organisation as I would love to explain to you why the use of small hand as a comedy prop in #GBBO by @PaulHollywood IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.’
One of Carly’s followers also agreed with her statement as the responded: ‘Channel 4 give this lady the job. I would like to add my name to the list of those feeling it was wrong, uncomfortable and unnecessary.’
Paul also came under fire from viewers after he and Prue Leith asked the contestants to make six rainbow bagels on bread week.
Although Paul did acknowledge the six-colour rainbow flag, designed by artist and activist Gilbert Baker and used by the LGBTQ community at Pride since 1978, he felt the current health crisis had given it a new meaning.
After the episode, which aired last week, unimpressed viewers took to Twitter to share their thoughts.
One tweeted: ‘The disgraceful theft of the rainbow symbol by the NHS was bad enough, but now bake-off ignores LGBTQ too. Disgusting.’
Another said: ‘Sorry Paul. Rainbow bagels do not represent the NHS.’
While one added: ‘So Paul Hollywood is fully giving the rainbow to the NHS on #GBBO ? With 75% of the audience being gay?’
Metro.co.uk has reached out to Channel 4 and Paull Hollywood’s rep for comment.
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