The Great British Bake Off contestant Diana Beard has left the show due to illness, the BBC has confirmed.

Diana, 69, complained on Thursday that she’d been made to look like she’d sabotaged her fellow Bake Off contestant Iain Watters by taking his Baked Alaska out of the freezer.

Iain, 31, binned his melted Baked Alaska before storming off the show, then returning only to be dismissed by Bake Off judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.

It has since emerged that Diana left the hit bakery competition some time ago (the show films between April and June). The BBC says her leaving had nothing to do with Ian’s ‘bincident’ even though she won’t appear on next week’s episode.

In a statement about her departure, a BBC spokesperson said: “Diana will not appear in the rest of the series as she fell ill ahead of filming episode five earlier this year.”

Speaking on Thursday morning on BBC Radio Shropshire, Diana was upset at how Wednesday’s episode was edited.

“I’m disappointed with the way it’s been portrayed,” she said. “I’ve been stitched up, haven’t I?

“We were 12 amateur bakers, [there’s] no prize money involved. Why would I sabotage Iain’s Baked Alaska?

“This has made it look like some cut-throat competition… I think someone’s culpable for the editing, really.”

Diana claimed Iain’s ice cream had been out of the freezer for no more than ’40 seconds’ and that her ‘conscience was intact’

Meanwhile, the corporation said it had received 556 complaints about the episode by Thursday morning.

The BBC released a statement from Ian, who said: “‘I have seen all the controversy and I don’t hold Diana responsible in any way. There are no grudges, we are still friends and keep in contact regularly.”

Co-host Sue Perkins also insisted there had been ‘no sabotage’ and that the situation was ‘getting a little inflamed for my liking’.

An average of 8.1 million viewers tuned into The Great British Bake Off on Wednesday.