A Sikh man, who has caught the imagination of many as he vies to win the widely watched BBC programme “The Great British Bake Off”, has been subjected to racist abuse.
Many rooted for Nadiya Hussain, a Muslim of Bangladeshi-origin, who won the popular cookery show last year, but Rav Bansal, 28, revealed on Twitter that he suffered the abuse after appearing in the first two episodes of the ongoing series.
Bansal, who lives in Kent and works in City University, is one of the 10 remaining contestants on the show. He tweeted on Thursday that he was asked whether he was a “p*ki” by a stranger, who referred to the “not so British Bake Off”. Bansal ended his tweet with: “Really, in 2016?”
So today I was asked 'are you the p*ki on the not so British bake off?' Really, in 2016? 😠— Rav (@RavSBansal) September 1, 2016
Hussain winning the 2015 edition was hailed as an example of Britain’s multiculturalism, but the uneasy relationship with difference was never far from the surface. Hussain later spoke of how racism had become part of her life and how she had come to expect it.
According to Bansal’s contestant profile, he has an especially strong bond with his sister, who inspired him to bake. He studied criminology at university but took a different career path and now loves his job supporting students at City University London.
“Rav has always been passionate about helping people and has volunteered for charities such as Victim Support. He is adventurous and experimental with his baking and likes to use a whole range of unusual ingredients,” the profile says. “He thinks he has a good sense of flavour combinations, even if they might seem strange to others. Rav is especially inspired by far eastern cuisine and likes vegan baking.”
Bansal’s popularity is growing and he found support from many after he revealed the racist abuse. The show is reported to have received record ratings this year, achieving more than 10 million overnight viewers for each of its first two episodes.