Edd Kimber attends the Woman’s Own Big Chocolate Tea Party in aid of The Sick Children’s Trust in 2013 (Mike Marsland/WireImage/getty)
The Greatest British Bake Off’s first ever winner, Edd Kimber, has spoken out about the homophobic abuse he faced during his time on the show.
Kimber appeared on the first series of the baking programme in 2010. He later became the resident baker on The Alan Titchmarsh Show and continues to write for publications including BBC Good Food, Waitrose Kitchen, Delicious, and on his blog, The Boy Who Bakes.
He revealed the abuse he received over his sexuality in a Twitter conversation with the chef and LGBT+ columnist Dan Lepard, who commented on how inclusive and affirmative the show is for LGBT+ people.
“Catching up on @BritishBakeOff and I realised what an #LGBTQ-affirmative show it has grown into,” Lepard said. “Bakers on the show happen to be openly gay, rather than in a hushed ‘he/she has a secret’ way. And over 10 years of #GBBO the show has led the way.”
Kimber agreed it is “such a wonderful thing”.
When asked if his experience on Bake Off was a positive one, he replied: “Yeah [it] was, although I think most of the stuff that was said on camera never made to it air. I got a little bit of online abuse for it during and after the show but thankfully it was generally a very positive experience.”
Lepard empathised, having experienced similar “homophobic trolling” from viewers after appearing on The Great Australian Bake Off.
He noted: “There has been some very troubling hate tweets coming from some gay men towards the gay #GBBO bakers, I wish they would pause and reflect on their words especially when they’re mock-violent.”
Kimber replied: “I can never understand anyone, especially another gay person, who could publicly post hateful things towards another person.
“I think social media has led to a disconnect between peoples brains and fingers as they type. Most of the time I’d like to believe they’d never say that sort of thing in person but tweet like it has no consequence, like it’s a game.”
Another gay Bake Off contestant, Rav Bansal, has also spoken of the homophobic abuse he received from members of the public. He recently shared a particularly hurtful letter which claimed his “perverse lifestyle” causes offence to Sikhs.