Doncaster Great British Bake Off star caught up in row over "sexist" icing photos

Val Stones with the "sexist" icing. (Photo: BBC).
Val Stones with the "sexist" icing. (Photo: BBC).
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A Doncaster woman set to start in the forthcoming series of TV smash The Great British Bake Off has been caught up in a row over "sexist" icing.

Val Stones, 66, of Conisbrough, is one of 12 bakers vying to win the seventh series of the blockbuster show when it returns to BBC1 next week.

The Great British Bake Off contestants with "gendered" icing. (Photo: BBC).

The Great British Bake Off contestants with "gendered" icing. (Photo: BBC).

But the BBC has been accused of sexism after publicity shots of Val and the other contestants showed them posing with "gendered" icing,

All the female contestants were pictured clutching spoons dripping with pink icing while the male contenders were shown with blue icing.

The baking show has incurred the wrath of viewers, who accused it of using "gendered" colours unnecessarily.

Fans immediately spotted the difference, taking to Twitter to protest at the "nonsense" presentation of the 2016 contestants.

One disappointed fan said: "Was ridiculously excited. Saw the blue icing for men and pink for women. Now just a little bit irritated."

Another asked: "If there's any show that just blythely ignores gender stereotypes it's Bake Off so why the different icing?"

Even Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats waded in and said: "Looking forward to catching#GBBO but I hope the pink icing for girls, blue icing for boys is dropped."

The BBC later appeared to have a change of heart, hastily tweeting out a new picture of the contestants with multicoloured icing.

Val, a former primary school head teacher, is originally from Conisbrough but now lives with husband Ian near Yeovil.

Although little is known about the contestants at this stage, the BBC has revealed that Mrs Stones began baking as a teenager.

A biography said: "Aged 15 she took over the family baking and has stayed at the helm of the kitchen now for over 60 years.

"She says her style is traditional and she can make the classics with her eyes closed, but she also enjoys searching the internet, finding new recipes."

Now semi-retired, she still works two days a week as a substitute teacher.

She loves incorporating baking into her teaching so that the children can grow up with as much passion for it as she did. In her spare time Val loves to exercise and can often be found doing aerobics in her kitchen whilst she waits for her jam to boil or her bread to prove.

Val will have to impress notoriously difficult to please judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood as well as hosts Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc when the series returns to BBC1 on August 24 at 8pm.